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Now In Color: Labelled as Heavy Song 1 and Heavy Song 2!

Now In Color – Now in Color

Now In Colour is a progressive rock band from Sydney, Australia. Yeti was the final song written and recorded, and it’s sort of a mixture and a tribute to all of their different influences and inspirations. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that the song slowly speeds up at a consistent from beginning to end, just slowly enough to not be noticeable! Subtly. 

The musicians in Now In Color says, «This song is like a tribute to all of our favorite progressive rock artists all crammed into one thing. It’s through composed and features few repeating sections, but the interesting and probably unique thing about it is that it slowly speeds up from beginning to end (by about 30bpm over 11 minutes). The acceleration is just gradual enough that you don’t really notice it at first, then suddenly think to yourself wait, isn’t this much faster than it was at the beginning? ».

«The tempo change was actually quite difficult to deal with from a production standpoint, as it meant that once we started recording parts, we weren’t able to change the structure at all (if we added new sections or moved anything around it would all be out of time because of the speed up). A combination of the this song being almost 11 minutes long, the speed up meaning it all had to be composed and arranged before we recorded anything, and the sheer variety of instrumentation (there ended up being about 120 different tracks in the final session) meant that this song took by far the most time to complete. The initial ~2 minute opening was released as a demo early on in the recording process, and most likely the biggest influence on this track would be the incredible Milliontow by the UK band Frost».

About the track Manifest Destiny, «This song started out as a demo of the opening riff that was made specifically to review a new 7 string guitar. This and Seafoam marked a change where acoustic piano became a prominent feature of a number of tracks on the album. The verses use a relatively unusual 10/4 time signature, and the instrumentation and production style of the verses was inspired somewhat by the 7/4 parts in Times Like These by the Foo Fighters. Writing a vocal part that wasn’t impossible to sing while playing the guitar part was a challenge. The much more non standard song structure and extended instrumental breaks give away that this was composed much later on in the process, as we started to become more adventurous. Back when they were just a collection of riffs, Manifest Destiny and Foregone Conclusion were labelled as Heavy Song 1 and Heavy Song 2».

Now In Colour is a 3 piece progressive rock band founded by guitarist and singer Nic Niko Barker bassist and background vocals, Jeaux Pfeffer and drummer and percussionist Jasper Dunn in late 2017. Now In Color formed officially at the beginning of 2018. Barker had just finished his first solo album and was looking for a band to play it live. The three of them started jamming together and found that they always end up on youtube listening to weird prog, jazz and world music. Soon enough it became obvious that they should abandon the idea of being a punk band and just play weird prog instead.

Initially they were keen on trying to compose music that could just be played by just 3 instruments (guitar, drums, and bass) but as they wrote more they abandoned that idea for the much more synth heavy sound that ended up on the album. In terms of the band name, Now In Colour was actually the first thing that Pfeffer suggested, which as most musicians know is incredibly rare. Usually it takes months or even years to think of a band name that really sticks.

They started writing the album in early 2018, and the first song that they wrote and released was Drift in March 2018.

At that point they were still afraid of pushing the boundaries, so it plays more like a pop song with a bit of a prog twist. As the year went on and they started writing longer and more involved songs, they started to add a lot more acoustic piano to our compositions, until they eventually settled on the style that could now be described as their sound (drums, bass, guitar, acoustic piano).

It was a major pain in the ass to record. They produced, mixed and mastered the album themselves, which meant that they had a huge amount of studio time to experiment and try out different sounds and arrangements.

The Now In Color muscians tells that Australia actually has a lot of great prog artists around these days, Plini, Karnivool, The Helix Nebula, Caligula’s Horse, Dead Letter Circus, Ne Obliviscaris to name a few. To be honest the live music scene in Sydney has been struggling for a few years for a number of reasons, but there is still definitely a strong underground appreciation for prog.

The band tells that, while there’s not necessarily an overarching concept to this album, you’ll find if you listen closely that they cross reference between the songs quite often, you’ll find themes from one song re used, twisted or adapted in several other songs. They areplanning to follow this album up with a shorter concept EP (most likely 4 songs with one unified lyrical / musical concept throughout).

Just in case if the listeners are interested, here are the public track notes for each song that you can find on Bandcamp and some other places.

LDFMN

This was actually the first song written for the record and was initially going to be part of Niko’s second album project before the formation of Now In Colour. The guitar and flute give it a bit of a Celtic feel, and it uses the Dorian mode which became a recurring theme throughout the record. The production style (especially the arpeggiated synth in the second chorus) takes inspiration from “Uprising” by Muse. Given that it was written early on in the process, it uses more of a traditional modern song structure. It wasn’t really until the bridge after the second chorus that we realised we could be a lot more adventurous with the instrumentation, arrangement (and the time signature – sorry Jasper!). The opening riff was the first thing that Niko wrote after adopting the alternative guitar tuning that he currently uses – “fourths tuning”.

MD

This song started out as a demo of the opening riff that was made specifically to review a new 7 string guitar. This and Seafoam marked a change where acoustic piano became a prominent feature of a number of tracks on the album. The verses use a relatively unusual 10/4 time signature, and the instrumentation and production style of the verses was inspired somewhat by the 7/4 parts in “Times Like These” by the Foo Fighters. Writing a vocal part that wasn’t impossible to sing while playing the guitar part was a challenge. The much more non standard song structure and extended instrumental breaks give away that this was composed much later on in the process, as we started to become more adventurous. Back when they were just a collection of riffs, Manifest Destiny and Foregone Conclusion were labelled as “Heavy Song 1” and “Heavy Song 2”.

Drift

This was the second song written for the album, and came together more as a result of us jamming together on the main riff than traditional sit down composition. We tried to capture some of the live jam feel in the instrumental break after the first chorus. It was a challenge that really helped us break out of the constant use of 4/4, and it took some time to feel comfortable playing a whole song in 7. We originally released this as a single about a year before the album came out, but our production style and approach to mixing changed so much over that period that we decided to re record a number of the instrumental parts and re-release a new version on the self titled album.

Seafoam

The bulk of the melodic ideas in this song came from a project that Niko and Jeaux worked on together a long time before Now In Colour existed (8 years or so prior). It’s quite a marked departure from the high energy guitar driven sound of the first 3 tracks, and ended up being the best example of the “other half” of our sound. We tried to make all the time and feel changes as unnoticeable as possible, and it again features our recurring use of 7 time. The Ocarina Of Time soundtrack was influential in parts of the original composition. By a nice stroke of luck, there’s a resolving 5-1 cadence at the end of the song which ends in the same key as The Hourglass, so we decided to put a nice gapless transition (to be honest it was a lot of work for 1 second of audio)

The Hourglass

This is our attempt at a genre that would probably be called “prog punk” or “j-prog”. There are a number of non traditional pop punk elements in there, like changing time signatures, unusual chord progressions, and an extended instrumental bridge. It was primarily influenced by the melodic, high energy sound of modern J-Rock (Japanese rock), especially within the specific sub genre of “anime opening themes”. If anyone wants to use this one for the opening / closing theme of your anime, you’re more than welcome.

 

Foregone Conclusion

This song is much more about rhythm than it is about harmony or melody. There is a central rhythmic idea that groups beats into the pattern of 1-12-123-1234-12345, which then cycles, changes speed, and forms polyrhythms throughout the song. It’s by far the heaviest song on the record, and even features a segment of Niko “growling”. The short, rhythmic production of the guitar and bass underneath ambient reverb is heavily influenced by the UK band Tesseract, who we love. The outro features a recurring pattern that gets more out of sink with the 4/4 drums each time. It’s quite easy to play on guitar and bass, but it’s a nightmare on drums (sorry Jasper!)

The Thaw

This song started out as a simple, minimalistic instrumental that we produced into a full track after doing a couple of different iterations of the vocal melody and lyrics. It took the least amount of time to go from idea to finished product, and settled very quickly into a particular sound that we were trying to achieve. It was one of the more difficult songs to place in the track listing, but we ended up deciding it would make a good relaxing break for the listener between Foregone Conclusion and Yeti. It’s the only song that doesn’t feature acoustic drums or bass – the only analogue instruments on the track are the vocals and the background acoustic guitar. We had some trouble naming the track as there’s a conflict with a Biffy Clyro song that we love, but we ended up deciding that we couldn’t really name it anything else given the lyrical context.

Yeti

This song is like a tribute to all of our favourite progressive rock artists all crammed into one thing. It’s through composed and features few repeating sections, but the interesting / unique thing about it is that it slowly speeds up from beginning to end (by about 30bpm over 11 minutes). The acceleration is just gradual enough that you don’t really notice it at first, then suddenly think to yourself “wait, isn’t this much faster than it was at the beginning?”. The tempo change was actually quite difficult to deal with from a production standpoint, as it meant that once we started recording parts, we weren’t able to change the structure at all (if we added new sections or moved anything around it would all be out of time because of the speed up). A combination of the this song being almost 11 minutes long, the speed up meaning it all had to be composed and arranged before we recorded anything, and the sheer variety of instrumentation (there ended up being about 120 different tracks in the final session) meant that this song took by far the most time to complete. The initial ~2 minute opening was released as a demo early on in the recording process, and most likely the biggest influence on this track would be the incredible “Milliontown” by the UK band Frost.

Also just for fun as a bonus, here are some of the other names that they wrote down before they chose Now In Colour:

Jubilantee

Triple Dare

Hope Inc.

Public key

Bill Posters

Home Cooked

Makeup Gun

Lookahead

Air Travel

RGB

Tricycle

Junk Jet

Spruce Moose

Moonwish

Six Cents

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Om Ulf Backstrøm (2681 Artikler)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
Contact: Hjemmeside

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