Radio Drive’s recently released project She Colors My World is one that brings a bright and emotionally open collection of songs that seem to float somewhere between indie-pop and the more classic rock sounds of the 70’s. Horizon is the opener and is the perfect example of this meeting of differences.
Horizon sounds like a riff and melody-led soundscape, not dissimilar to the likes of Coldplay. Other aspects though argue against this in a notable way. The band’s leading vocalist, the harmonies, the echos, the guitars, the rising intensity – there’s a sense of optimism and possibility, but it comes through in this mildly familiar yet essentially new way. Empire Of The Sun, even MGMT flicker into view on occasion, but it’s always short-lived. The song is joyful and loaded with imagery and positivity. It sounds beautiful and you get a good feel for the individual artistry of the band.
There’s a dash of something from a simpler time in the opening song, and the follow-up A New Start tips its hat even more-so in that direction. This song is far more spacious, almost acoustic, and presents a sort of medieval, Bowie-inspired ambiance that showcases a totally different side to the Radio Drive sound. Sweet Thing changes the pace yet again and creates a delicate, smooth, key-driven aura that allows a distinctly reflective and observational song about love and adoration to shine brightly. There are more than a few blasts from the past on this project, yet always its with that air of freshness – that Radio Drive sense of character and purpose.
Forever I Do is a song that underlines the band’s emotional integrity more than ever. The gentle ballad emerges with subtle movements and just a few thoughtful details. The build-up works well in making certain those I Love Yous, that central line, hits with impact. The retro distorted guitar solo that follows each of these moments creates a striking contrast and adds further to that recognisable energy. This song is so simple in nature yet it grows to be one of the most memorable on the album.
Musically, the band never cease to highlight their own creative abilities and passions. The guitar-work, the structure of each piece, the vocal harmonies, the keys, the drum-lines – everything works hard to keep you interested. Every Road is a song that reminds you of all of this, that makes you re-appreciate the musicianship and consideration that has gone into the release. Simple, short lines offer snippets of ideas and rhyming couplets that really linger in your mind. And as always, the build-up is magical.
Hey Bulldog sees the mood shift entirely, creating around you a sort of indie-blues-rock fusion that feels rightfully fresh from the sixties. The melody is presented really well, as are the riffs – it’s satisfying to listen to. Time To Rise follows and features all of the mightiness from before and a whole lot that is inspiring and energizing. It’s a beautiful song, somehow delicate and heavy all at once. Life As It Should Be seems to continue down a similar pathway of deep thought and positive vibes. The instrumentation reaches its peak about now, the band have crafted each track wonderfully and you really get to see the power of this during these penultimate moments.
Things come to a close with the electronically dreamlike Waiting. Again making certain to build something epic around you though, the band later take the song in a more acoustically driven direction, and it’s a beautiful, spacious, entrancing few minutes of music and performance. The melody and the vocal harmonies that deliver it are left wandering around in your mind for quite some time after listening. Contrast again is well utilised, the distorted guitars against the softness elsewhere add to the intense build-up of emotion – offering both calmness and colourful chaos in equal parts. It’s an easy to enjoy album that underlines the Radio Drive approach to creativity in a strong way.