Perth’s indie-electro trio Crooked Colours are back with their second album, Langata. The ten track LP explores humanity and our desire to be connected to one another, touching on relationships, love, missing and needing people, and how we deal with the constant yearning for connectivity. It follows their debut album, Vera, from 2017—an album that launched them onto a platform where they were known for making electronic dance beats with a level of thoughtfulness that could be likened to indie group Alt-J.
The album starts off with a well-known single released in 2018, I’ll Be There. Crooked Colours draws the listener in with a familiar track and keeps them captivated with the driving beat that pushes the song along. I’ll Be There features sensitive and intimate vocals that are complemented by the deep bass and plucky loops. The opening track is the beginning of the emotional journey for connectivity, with lines like “I’ll be there for you”.
Do It Like You, another single released in 2018, is the second track on the album. I find it’s catchier than the first track but takes a darker approach in energy. Do It Like You is an exploration of love and control with darker undertones. The entrancing loops and energy make it one to add to the dance playlist.
The album then dives into the new a fresh, stepping away from the familiarity of the first two tracks. Heart String is another song to add to the dance playlist, with its repetitive beat that drives the track. It lists the structure of a night out, “do a little dancing, a little bit of romancing, come a little closer, make a little love”.
Just Breathe takes the energy down a notch and is a more mellow track that I found I quite enjoyed. It starts with guitar strumming before it becomes a mix of instrumentals and synthesised sounds. Continuing with the theme of connectivity, the track talks about wanting to “be a part of something”. The group have created a softer and subtler track that builds up to the chorus, with its atmospheric beats and distorted vocals.
Another slower track, IC Light is deep and heavy. It’s more pensive than the upbeat tracks earlier in the album. The raw and sultry vocals show a fresh side of vulnerability, “I want to be somebody else, I want to feel good about myself”. It’s a bass-heavy track, that features a robot voice reciting a mantra beneath the soft vocals in the chorus that works to create something special.
Langata features another single, Hold On—a dance track with a solid build up before the drop. The song is one of my favourites of the album; I really enjoyed the punchy beat in the chorus. There’s a repetition of feeling alive, “when I think of you I feel alive”, again coming back to the streamline of relationships.
The album’s title track, Langata features a funky introduction that keeps you captivated throughout the rest of the track. One of the highlights of the album, the song makes you want to close your eyes and dance around. Langata has a lot going on heading into the chorus but it works well, each element complementing the other rather than being oversaturated. It’s a perfect example of the layers upon layers in music that Crooked Colours is known for that sets their electronic music apart from the rest.
Mirror Ball sits between a dance track and a slow track with its melancholic vocals. The band’s latest single, Never Dance Alone is a tender and soft track. Ladyhawke’s feature adds a fresh element to the album, with her higher pitched vocals cutting through the intimate and softer sounds we associate with Crooked Colours.
The album comes to a close with Lose Someone. In my opinion, it’s the perfect pensive track to end with. It’s emotional and melancholic and has a slow but strong chorus. Crooked Colours wanted the listener to embark on an emotional journey throughout the album, and this track really makes you feel.
Langata is full of soft vocals, synths and guitars that move harmoniously throughout to provide an overall experience of yearning for connectivity. The tracks are calming yet sound trippy at the same time. Although I understand the theme that ties all the songs together, it feels a little disjointed as if there is a lack of flow between the tracks. Nonetheless, it’s an album that wants you to feel something, and by closing your eyes and listening to the lyrics you really can feel that raw desire for human connection as well as find tracks to dance to.
Crooked Colours are playing at Metros Fremantle Friday, May 17.
Langata is available on streaming platforms on May 17.