Colorama : Cookie Zoo09.11.18 : Banana & Louie Records
Formed initially as a duo in 2007, Colorama released their debut album, Cookie Zoo, on Noise McCartney Records (in Japan only) in 2008. The band's mainstay, Carwyn Ellis, has gone on to craft seven more Colorama releases - including last year's understated masterpiece Some Things Just Take Time - but even after a decade Cookie Zoo still feels like it is hewn from the heart of a creative motherlode.
Ellis' music has been described as being for "People who, after a record hunting afternoon, might enthusiastically arrive home with findings like Francoise Hardy EPs from the Vogue era, Arthur Verocai, Broadcast reissues, an Alessandro Alessandroni soundtrack, dusty old Nilsson albums, Meic Stevens' 'Outlander' and an original, mint condition, O'Jays 'Back Stabbers' LP." It is eclectic pop without boundaries, and it has an enchanting, optimistic quality difficult to find readily anywhere else.
There is a real infectious groove to songs such as Real Girl, but Cookie Zoo opens with the resplendent Sound (the band's first single) - which lays out immediately Ellis' willingness to mine back through fifty years of pop history for inspiration; what he achieves over the whole album by fusing his catholic, encyclopedic knowledge of music and detailed songwriting craft is a collection of twelve genuinely timeless pop classics. If you want a highlight, then the delicately picked guitar and soft shuffle pop of Dere Mewn (sung in Ellis' native Welsh) offers an exquisite keystone to the set.
Cookie Zoo is a wholly absorbing album that again offers a timely musical antidote to troubled times. Carwyn Ellis has achieved much since this album was released, but his music was fully formed when Colorama took its first recorded steps - of all the re-issues this year, Cookie Zoo must be one of the most essential.
Cookie Zoo vinyl edition limited to 500 copies - out November 9th on Banana & Louie Records. Available to pre-order NOW
COLORAMA I Cookie Zoo
COLORAMA I Dere Mewn