Velour 100 has gone through a few changes since they released their Tooth & Nail debut Fall Sounds. Perhaps the most noticeable change is the departure of the former lead singer, Amon Krist, who has gone off to do her own music (which I’m somewhat anxious to hear). In her place, Of Color Bright features 3 vocalists: Sydney from labelmates Morella’s Forest, Karin Oliver from Trey Many’s other band His Name Is Alive, and Tess Wiley from Phantasmic fame.
So what do we have here? First off, the vocalists, especially Sydney, all do good jobs. I just wish I could figure out who is singing what song. Second, this release is far more poppy than Fall Sounds, which wandered from indie-pop to folk to instrumental/ambient. Of Color Bright is far closer to the indie-pop sound in an Ivy-esque sort of way, with the catchy opener “Bittersweet” (with Sydney’s delicate vocals) and “Shine.”
One thing that I really liked about Fall Sounds was the way all of the songs flowed into eachother, creating a very nice and cohesive sound. That’s still present on Of Color Bright, but far more subdued. There aren’t those little interludes. This album is much less “experimental” and “atmospheric” than Fall Sounds, where distant, plaintive sounds bubbled forth and guitars shimmered from track to track. It’s also less acoustic, with the exception of the beautiful, but all-too-short “Monochrome.”
The general sense of longing and gentle melancholia that endeared Fall Sounds so much is still present, however. This album, in parts, is still the perfect thing to listen to while watching autumn leaves fall. “Sky From Underwater,” “Under Heaven,” and “Dolphin Grey” still hearken back to the sound of their debut album, but on the whole, Of Color Bright moves down a different direction. Again, none of the songs really reach out and grab me. I don’t think it’s because they’re all substandard, but rather, they’re all pretty good. As with the first, the lyrics of this album seem to be fragments out of throughts and diaries, about the search for faith and love.
On the whole, I like Fall Sounds more, but Of Color Bright has quite a few bright spots of its own.