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Color Dolor (Finland) – Andrea (single from forthcoming album)

We’ve reached the point where some of the early artists featured are coming back around again. In the last review of Color Dolor I said I felt that the Finnish duo’s style was subtly changing as they came to the release of their forthcoming, and fourth, album ‘Blurry Things’.

That previous review was of ‘Underwater’, which I described as a strident electronic pop-ballad quite removed from the alternative art-pop on which they built their reputation.

Just to prove me right (for a change) they’ve done another genre switch on ‘Andrea’ which they paint as “a song about loving somebody while knowing it will never work. Like two cats going round a hot pot.” (I‘m not quite sure what that phrase means. When I Googled it I was directed to a newspaper article about a Vietnamese restaurant serving Cat Hot Pot)!

“I thought I wouldn’t miss you any longer/I just can’t get over my anger/’cos every time you look in my direction/it keeps getting stronger/my hunger.

Can this love story have a resurrection/Hm, a direction?”

 That pretty well sums it up, doesn’t it?

I should also point out that they’ve identified the album as a whole as “a culmination of ideas that felt spontaneous. First takes. Unfinished. Not overproducing, or over-thinking, not rehearsing. Trying to leave things as they first came out, demo-like.”

This song does have a raw feel to it for sure. The sort that suggests it was recorded not in a studio but ad-hoc, in the kitchen next door. It has the sense of a 1960s British hit in parts, let’s say Herman’s Hermits playing ‘No Milk Today’ or The Honeycombs with ‘Have I the right?’ and in other parts the more recent ‘First Love’ by Emmy the Great, an anti-folk classic – but with much more instrumentation here than in all of them.

And that instrumentation includes an almost bizarre synth/guitar bridge; bizarre because it seems so out of place until you realise it’s an entree to the power ballad ending, followed by a flute to play the song out, possibly sooner than it might have done.

It’s at least three songs in one. As if the official government song book just got thrown out of the window. It will grow on you very quickly, I guarantee.

All three tracks released from the album have been quite different, raising expectations dramatically about the full content. Remember this is the band that won Finland’s top award for “bold, original and innovative musical works” for their last one.

 ‘Blurry Things’ is out on 26th November on the Soliti label. ‘Andrea’ is out today, 29th October.

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