Crooked Colours “Langata”

After a successful run of shows at Groovin The Moo in April and May Perth trio Crooked Colours continue to tour the country on their Langata tour to promote their highly anticipated sophomore album of the same name. Released in stores and streaming services on Friday 17 May 2019, Langata encapsulates Crooked Colours—Phil Slabber, Leon Debaughn and Liam Merrett-Park—indie/ dark electronica sensibilities and while integrating alt-pop intimations.

The ten track LP is revitalised with the vibrant I’ll Be There. The simple lyrics backed by tribal vocals and a complex instrumental resonance is representative of a classic Crooked Colours sound. Its entrancing loops are enticing and beg to be danced to. This sentiment continues into Do It Like You, one of the shortest tracks on the album. With its repetitive lyrics and darker feel it is a love song for the chemical generation.

From the familiarity of the first two tracks, both released in 2018, Langata plunges into the unknown. It free-falls through a myriad of ebbs and flows supported by Slabber’s uncharacteristically seductive vocals and storytelling. It navigates through the waxing and waning sharpness of Heart String to the smooth and delicate Just Breathe before decelerating to the mysterious and shadowy I C Light.

The third single, Hold On, swings the ambience pendulum back up with its mild infusion of alt-pop before the album peaks with title track Langata followed by Mirror Ball. The two are standouts with their seemingly flawless blend of simplistic intricacy and emotively melancholic trance vibes. Yet they remain uniquely individual which serves to add to their remarkableness. New single Never Dance Alone, featuring New Zealand’s Ladyhawke, reverts back to the alt-pop sound heard earlier. It ticks all the boxes for being a juggernaut hit despite veering from the classic Crooked Colours sound. It lights the way to Lose Someone which rounds out the album on a wistful note.

Langata is an emotively hermetic journey through love and loss. It is resonant with passion and complex with its overt uncomplicatedness. However, the journey is somewhat fragmented; it lacks an overall flow. This does not detract from its excellence though as each song can be lauded for its admirable individuality and mastery, and should be.

Album Review By Anita Kertes