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PREMIERE: Pet Shop Boys covering the Monkees? Butterflies from Coloured Clocks is a 60s-inspired psych pop gem

Coloured Clocks premiere

Call the Maharishi, break out the hashish and dust off your copy of Pet Sounds because James Wallace, aka Coloured Clocks, has unleashed a new wave of psychedelica on the world. If his new track Butterflies doesn’t make you want to quit your job, buy a Kombi and travel aimlessly around the country in search of peace and love, nothing will.

Coloured Clocks butterflies

Sewing together a slew of 60s influences, James Wallace, aka Coloured Clocks nails sunny psych pop with Butterflies.

On Facebook Wallace describes the Coloured Clocks’ sound as augmented pop. I’m not especially sure I know what that means, but if it means it sound like Butterflies does, I’m all for it. Wallace has been recording smooth tunes with a hippie vibe under the name of Coloured Clocks for four years now and you can’t help but feel like he doesn’t generally take life too seriously, “This track was just written kind of as it went. I just picked up my iPhone and pressed record and then the opening few lines of the chorus and verse came out. Then it was up to me to figure out what I’d actually done when it came to recording it.” In this case at least, it seems the easy-come-easy-go approach to song writing has certainly paid off.

Musically, Butterflies is as uncomplicated as it is fun. There’s no massive orchestral arrangement, no poetic gibberish, just three and half minutes of super catchy music. Imagine Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) has taken over lead vocals for the Monkees; that’s Butterflies. I’ve been told the true test for a psych song is whether or not it sounds any good when you’re not high. So in the interest of responsible critiquing, my first listen was early on a Sunday morning after a big night – and it still made me want to dance.

It’s undeniably peppier than Coloured Clocks’ previous offerings but that’s a happy accident according to Wallace, “Butterflies is a fairly upbeat poppy track, no real intentional changes (from previous recordings). I did work on it with a new computer and monitors so I was able to hone my sound a bit more.” The extra effort in production is certainly apparent and give the song something extra by way of the dreamy feel that Wallace says he likes so much. “I really like music with that sort of psychedelic, warped, sunny, dreamy kinda sound to it,” he muses when asked what his influences are.

So what does it all mean? “…to me the song is kinda about having lots of transient things around you that look and seem really amazing but leave you with a sense of wondering if you’re actually a part of it or not.” Of course, Wallace would rather you interpret the song for yourself. It won’t disappoint, if for no other reason than the clever inclusion of a word play that changes ‘butterflies’ to ‘but if lies’. One way or another, Butterflies is completely irresistible and it will remain on my playlist for the rest of this year at least.

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October 28, 2015

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