A Modest Rethinking About Secret Colours, “Peach”, and Psychedelica

Yesterday, we raved about Secret Colours, and we have no intention to walk back any of our praise.  Far from it.  They’re a pretty amazing new band, Peach is a superb album, and if you track talented bands playing real rock’n’roll, you gotta keep your eye on them.

But yesterday, we wrote that they were mislabeled as a psychedelic band, based on the evidence available from repeated listenings to Peach.  Today, we spent more time listening to their debut, Secret Colours.  Based on the first record, it’s clear how natural it is, actually, that they’re appearing with bands like Dean and Britta and First Communion Afterparty at this Friday’s Bathysphere psychfest in Minneapolis.  It’s not quite like they’re a different band on each album, but it is very clear how much Brian Deck shaped the sound on the new album.  From a record label’s perspective, from the perspective of a programmer from Clear Channel or Sirius XM, no doubt for the better.  But we do wonder what happened to that earlier version of the band that meanders a bit more, that plays Farfisa and tries on garage-rock poses, that yeah, sounds like a psychedelic band.

And then we stumbled upon a really well done and revealing interview in Illinois Entertainer in which the band says this:

“I think Peach signifies a transformation. The first one we tried real hard, from the way we dressed to the way we played our instruments. We tried really hard to be somebody else. I was like, ‘I have the same pedals as Pete Holmstrom from Dandy Warhols.’ I feel like Peach is the beginning of us putting our personal touch on . . . it’s far more personal,” Stach explains over his second pint of Oberon ale.

“We want to be ourselves now. I think we’re trying to get over identity – find ourselves musically and in real life,” Evans adds.
Frederick continues the train of thought: “I think we’re far enough in the process, like with Peach, that was such a shock, and it’s a rewarding process. It taught us a craft that we had never done before . . . but there was still something I truly feel about Peach that was not fully ourselves.”

So, some advice to the band.  Enjoy what you’ve accomplished with Peach, and the deserved success it brings you.  Secret Colours has talent in buckets. But for the next album?  If the label allows it, either produce it yourselves, or figure out who you really are before you let a producer sculpt you into shapes you may not naturally fit into, shapes that, an album or two hence, you may not be comfortable with.  Be yourselves.  We’re convinced, based on both albums plus the EP that came in between, that real Secret Colours is even better than whatever a producer can manufacture.

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