As my time working at Hollister comes to an end, I have at least a few things to thank them for besides money. I discovered a few bands from their playlists, like Graffiti6. They're a UK pop-rock soul collaboration between singer-songwriter Jamie Scott and producer and songwriter Tommy D (who has produced for Jay-Z, Kanye West and Kylie Minogue). They have a sound similar to Maroon 5 (I want to call it soul pop?), and have some of the super catchy sensibilities of Foster The People as well. The first song I heard was "Stone In My Heart." I was first struck by the duo's unique sound. The melody of the song is a bit off kilter for pop, but still remains catchy. It has a certain dense atmosphere with a strong emphasis on drum machines. Scott's vocals are layered in the verses which oddly has a muffling effect, but you can still tell that he can sing. "Annie You Save Me" has a similar sound to that track, is just as catchy and the vocals sound a bit clearer. The feel-good song "Stare Into the Sun" was the first track the duo wrote two years ago and was featured on the FIFA 2012 soundtrack. This kickstarted their career together. Their debut album Colours was released in the UK in 2010 and in America on January 24th. Their current single in America is "Free," which is a slower soul song with great lyrics that makes great use of Scott's falsetto. The duo have been making waves for a while, as their songs have been used in many tv shows such as "MTV's Teen Wolf," "Grey's Anatomy" and "One Tree Hill."
Aside from the singles, the album doesn't have many upbeat tracks on it. Fortunately, the album still has many other standout track. "This Man" is a slow rock jam that highlights Scott's vocals at their best. "Calm the Storm," while simplistic lyrically, turns out to be a beautifully melancholic and engaging song. "Never Look Back" is a fun track with a catchy chorus. The track "Stop Mary" has an upbeat funky sound which makes it impossible to ignore. "Lay Me Down" takes a more folk turn musically and lyrically and has a great bassline. The final track "Over You" is a nice and simple ballad that reminds me of Justin Timberlake. A few of the tracks could have used better lyrics and melodies, like "Colours" and "Goodbye Geoffrey Drake," but the production and Jamie's vocals makes up for that fact. Overall, it's a very solid album that can be played all the way through.
Colours can be listened to on Spotify and purchased on iTunes US here. Check out the video for "Free" below.
Although I really like the production of their songs, sometimes I feel like Jamie's voice isn't highlighted enough on some tracks. Graffiti6 have released some beautiful stripped down acoustic versions of songs Colours songs on the Free EP, available on iTunes and Spotify, which Jamie sounds amazing on. The single also includes two other great songs, like Fleet Foxes cover "Blue Ridge Mountains" and "Foxes." It's a must listen if you want to get more into the band. As another added bonus, there is an amazing cover of "No Diggity" on the Annie You Save Me single on Spotify.