By: Kimia Mansouri, student at SFU
The four-piece indie rock band, color tonguespreventively celebrated the May 19 release of their album, midnight island, with a live show at Fox Cabaret on May 11. Based in Vancouver, the band consists of James Challis (vocalist and guitarist), Dan Lavergne (bassist), David Taylor (drummer) and Graeme Meekison (lead guitarist). The group formed in 2017 and released their EP, almost to the east, in 2018. They have since performed across Canada.
Listening to Color Tongues is like an immersive experience where you can feel the beats and pop melody. Rhythm helps you escape your earthly worries for a few minutes. Their music reminds me of bands like The night cafe, my dear loveand rare monk. Color Tongues is indie rock meets dreamy pop, so there’s a good amount of reverb on the guitars but great clarity when it comes to the guitar solos. Sounds go beyond words, so whether you’re listening to them live in a room or through your headphones at your desk, you feel compelled to move your body to the sound.
You can expect catchy tunes, great melodies and an early 2000s dream-pop theme from midnight island. The instrumentals overshadow the lyrics to such an extent that it can be difficult to know what the singer is saying if you don’t already know the lyrics. Their full show at Fox Cabaret was an interactive and groovy experience for people willing to move their bodies to a wall of music. The energetic stage presence of the members was matched by an equally electric energy from the audience. In the middle of the audience, I couldn’t help nodding as their music gave off a fiery rock ‘n’ roll spirit.
Produced by Matt Di Pomponio, midnight island, which took three years to prepare, is a seven-track album about the stages of relationships; first love tries to save the relationship, grief and self-reflection. The title of the song of the same name as the album is inspired by “the fear of wanting to fall in love with someone to be [weakened] by the doubt of really giving yourself to them. The album speaks to the youth in us and reminds us of the possibilities ahead.
“By the end of the album, we want you to feel like before the world got too big and recognize that you can come back to it,” Challis said in the press release.
Another interesting thing about this album is the cover, which was inspired by the 90s video game, Metroid. Growing up, Challis and his friends thought the game’s mighty hero was male, but was later revealed to be female. The album cover reveals feminine facial features in colorful gradients.
While you listen midnight island On streaming platforms, the band is gearing up for an Ontario tour starting May 24 in Toronto, followed by stops in Hamilton, Guelph, Kingston and Oshawa.