Color Animal/Magic Mint
7” Split EP
Color Animal = Kishi Bashi + Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The first few moments of this EP splash you with paint buckets of drum and keyboard in a chromatic, pulsating rhythm that creates just the right amount of tension, which is resolved by the somewhat understated background vocals that chime in shortly after. The “honeys” and “I knows” are a comfortable contrast to the rising intensity of the musical landscape. When this is played live, I imagine that the crowd can’t help but jump up and down a little as a type of call and response to the climax of the track. Titled “Heal Me,” you get the sense of a sort of florid anxiety growing to fruition through the course of it all, with the final lyrics asking, “Can you hear me,” with more of an exclamation point than a question mark.
From “Heal Me,” the EP transitions into “Left Foot Right Foot,” which feels like just that—trying to navigate the sorrows of life and love by forcing one to keep shuffling along. With a dizzy, fervent sort of darkness, the track uses imagery of the raging sea to create a particular, all-consuming emotional scenery. As Shaw sings “Let the waves take control,” the keyboard seems to pull me into its wake and cradle me there until the end of the track washes me back onto shore. The main lyric sticks to my bones even after listening with an uncomplicated yet powerful ideal: “I know you and you know me.”
The EP is rounded out by the final track, “Sleep Death,” which meets somewhere in the middle of the former two with confident guitar and a positivity that feels earned and well deserved—like emerging from a breakup or death of a friend and realizing everything is going to be OK. The last few notes soar in an anthem-like manner and leave a feeling of fulfillment and culmination, despite the EP only being three tracks long.
Color Animal share a necessary narrative in this work, almost like a bonus sub-story from their July 2014 release, Bubble Gum. It would be a shame to skip over this swelling, cathartic gem—though keep an eye out for their upcoming full-length album, Why Don’t We Have Fun? –Kia McGinnis