My initial thoughts on the first track of The Technicolors’ new Sweat EP are something along the lines of What’s that sound? and then just Woah. This is the first time in awhile that I’ve been so excited to hear new music, and in the first ten seconds of “Sweat” I feel as if I’m being promised something special.
Frontman Brennan Smiley has a unique, charming voice, and in the beginning of this track he almost reminds me of Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT. The layered vocals make me feel like I’m in a pool of sound.
I’m always swooning over The Technicolors’ bass lines, and those feelings are supported and strengthened through this song (edit: through this EP). The chorus of “Sweat” flows in–no, slams in–like I’m hitting a brick wall. But a pretty one. Like a garden wall. Covered in fairy lights. The song sails smoothly from there, and by the last note I’m completely hooked.
At the first whimsical sounds of “Space Cadet” my heart probably stops. I don’t know how a band has perfectly captured the aesthetic of drifting through space via sounds alone, but The Technicolors have done it and I’m blown away. Smiley’s vocals are sincere and emotional. I didn’t really notice how fantastic the backing vocals were until the second listen through, but now I find it hard to not focus on them primarily. The song is built around the same constant electronic drum beat and it feels like it was made in a bedroom.
The Technicolors are with a very DIY artist collective called 8123, alongside The Maine and Beach Weather, and the EP was self produced, so the bedroom feel is fitting (and fantastic in my opinion).
“Space Cadet” is about loneliness and indecision and feeling lost in a familiar place, and I think it is a perfect representative of the full EP.
“Fall Off The Moon” fits very well with the previous song in the sense that the cosmic vibes are very real. The loneliness and indecision of “Space Cadet” seems to have been clung to and elaborated on so much in the EP’s third song, leaving me feeling a sense of dread even though the song itself is so beautiful. “Fall Off The Moon” is dreamy, floaty, dazzling, and ominous.
The first riff of “Hologram” sounds like a new start. Visions of city lights flood my mind as the groovy song progresses, and I find myself somehow more excited about “Hologram” than I had been about the others on Sweat. Smiley’s range shines with the higher notes in the pre-chorus, adding contrast before his usual low, smooth vocals in the soothing chorus.
The same whimsical, spacey chimes that have been used throughout the EP are introduced yet again, making the song even hazier. There’s a beautiful guitar part (possibly not guitar, maybe mandolin?) used as a sort of bridge, but then it remains in the background for the rest of the song. To sum up “Hologram”: it’s a gorgeous, dreamy jam.
I initially wasn’t going to write about the last song on Sweat, since it’s a remake of an already-existent Technicolors song, “Tonight You Are Mine.” I’ve decided to talk about it briefly, though. It’s very common for bands to strip down songs of theirs and release it as something new, but it’s not common for the new songs to sound like anything more than that. “Tonight You Are Mine (Dressed In Pixels Mix)” almost sounds like a completely different song in the best way possible, and I think it was a great move from The Technicolors to re-release it in this way.
The only downside of this EP that I can think of is that the extreme guitar talent in The Technicolors wasn’t showcased as much as it was on their previous EP, Ultraviolet Disguise. I’m pretty sure that was a conscious decision so they could grasp the aesthetic they were going for.
I think the slight sound change that has come with Sweat is lovely and is definitely something I’ve been hoping to hear The Technicolors dabble in. All in all, I adore Sweat and will be listening to it on repeat through the impending summer nights.