Like the Southern California sunshine under which they grew, Orange County indie poppers the Colourist sparkle and shine on their self-titled full-length debut. Their lead single, the buoyant "Little Games," first began making the rounds in early 2013 well in advance of both their teaser EP Lido or their debut. With its ringing Big Country-inspired guitar riff and winsome pop charm, the song made a strong showing on influential sites like Hype Machine, paving the way for the quartet's album's release. It's a vibrant debut in keeping with the band's name, borrowing elements from the likes of Phoenix and former tourmates Fitz and the Tantrums, with the dueling vocals of drummer Maya Tuttle and guitarist Adam Castilla at its heart. The two singers weave in and out of harmony, trading lines over the album's 11 earnest, largely guitar-based tracks which are augmented throughout by punchy synth leads and shimmering loops. At times, the album's production, courtesy of Carlos de La Garza (Paramore, Tegan and Sara) feels a bit over-treated, coated in a synthetic sheen that dampens the personality of some of the stand-out tracks and the overall sonic warmth. Still, the Colourist are at their peak on strong, melodic anthems like "Yes Yes" and the excellent "Fix This," both examples of the kind of intelligent, well-constructed pop this band is capable of. It's the sound of commercial, high-end indie rock for sure, but in the hands of capable musicians, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger