Album review: Abracadabra – shapes & colors 

Oakland band Abracadabra release their new art-pop album ‘shapes & colors’ [sic], out now on Melodic Records. 

Recorded with access to the Emeryville Synthesizer Museum, this album is a collection of songs with elements of no wave, dub, and disco which falls somewhere between the music of Tom Tom Club and Lizzie Mercier or maybe a minimal Eurythmics attempting to play early B52s. But also not like any of that.

The opening song Talk Talk features a melodic bass-led groove and tight drums which combined with an Associate’s nod on guitar sets a good stage for what we are to hear throughout the album. 

There are dub influences which start to become prominent on the song Swim and are used to particular effect on the dub-infused trumpets that emulate the sound of an elephant in the single ‘At The Zoo’.

‘At the Zoo’ highlights the lyrical nature of the album, an often deadpan melodic performance, sometimes playfully banal, sometimes skipping between the use of cliche ‘let me inside my mind’ and then skipping into the obscure ‘ the zoodoo’. A mixture of what comes across as high concept and ad-lib. This allows the potentially deep and earnest ideas behind the songs to avoid heaviness, keeping the album in a more overall joyous space. 

Hannah from the band says “We’re inviting listeners to conjure up every drop of hope and willpower left inside them, pour that into the giant vat of anger and frustration bubbling inside us all, and with this potion collectively enact the necessary change to bring love and light into this dark space.”

This is a well-realised album worthy of your attention, and I look forward to seeing them live when they come to the UK.

You can buy shapes & colors [sic] from the label here

You can buy and listen to the album from the bands bandcamp here

You can follow Abracadabra on Instagram here:

Article by Toby Tobias Kidd

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