When the Chicago, IL-based psych rock band Secret Colours released their debut self-titled effort and their sophomore effort, Peach, the band was a sextet. However, within a relatively short period of time in the band’s history, the band went through a massive reshuffling of their lineup that left only two of the band’s original members – Tommy Evans (vocals, guitar) and Justin Frederick (drums).
Now as a quartet with Eric Hehr (bass) and Mike Novak (drums), the band has gone through a noticeable change in sonic direction – inspired partially by an increasing reliance on capturing their live sound, and partially out of necessity. After all, with fewer members, you have to re-think how you fill up musical space and the most common responses for bands in that situation is either to strip the most excessive parts of their sound away or they become playfully inventive, finding ways to be more complex and nuanced.
And on Secret Colours recently released Positive Distractions 1 and the forthcoming Positive Distractions 2, the band went towards the direction of being more playfully inventive, finding ways to craft a sound that’s always psychedelic but nuanced and complex. “Into You,” the latest single off Positive Distractions 2 (which will be released at the end of April), is probably one of the more complex songs i’ve heard from the either release, and yet there are things that are incredibly consistent between both EPs – Hehr’s incredibly taut bass lines; bright, staccato bursts of organ; Evans falsetto vocals that sing lyrics that revolve around the complexity of human relationships. However, “Into You”’s base line is much more sinuous and seductive, and the track sounds as though it owes a debt to the Talking Heads – thanks to bursts of percussion that seem to come out of nowhere. And interestingly, the song feels as though it morphs into several different songs tied together through that bass line. it’s trippy as hell and yet perhaps for the first time, the band’s first really danceable song.