Colony House’s debut album When I Was Younger was refreshing and uplifting, based on moving forward and growing into a stronger and better person. A reassuring, steadfast hope can be felt from Colony House that brings the listener into their world and sound, something rarely seen in modern music. Strong vocal performances and wide influences in their music showed a promising start for their journey as artists trying to find their sound.
In the 2.5 years since their debut, a definite development can be seen in the sound and style of Only The Lonely. ‘Lonely’ and ‘Where Your Father’s Been’ represent a marked change, while others like ‘Cannot Do This Alone’ and ‘You & I’ maintain that familiar tone.
A clear improvement for the band is Only the Lonely’s cohesiveness. Opener ‘Cannot Do This Alone’ seamlessly transitions into ‘1234’, blending into one. This is followed by a change in musical style and emotional maturity in ‘Lonely’, enticing the listener. The mood is brought straight back up with one of the best tracks, ‘You & I’. ‘3:20’, much like ‘2:20’ in ‘When I Was Younger’, links the two albums, and ‘Follow Me Down’, like the first two tracks, smoothly transitions into the penultimate anthem ‘Remembered For’. ‘This Beautiful Life’ completes the album in a thoughtful and bittersweet manner. The balance and ease of the carefully considered track listing encourages one to listen to the record front to back.
The majority of the tracks in this album are brilliant, with standout tracks being ‘Cannot Do This Alone’, ‘You & I’, ‘Lonely’, and my personal favourite ‘Remembered For’. ‘Cannot Do This Alone’ and ‘You & I’ bring back familiar, clear vocals accompanied by mellow and evocative guitar parts, whilst ‘Lonely’ introduces sharper vocals and a rawer, authentic vibe. ‘Remembered For’ captures the essence of what Colony House stands for as artists and people – trying to find yourself and to have an impact in some way, to be both proud of and happy with the legacy that one leaves behind.
Only The Lonely clearly shows the development of Colony House’s style. While the changes in their sound have had definite improvements, by incorporating different styles, their authenticity has diminished. When I Was Younger established a certain quality in Colony House that’s not as prevalent in their new album. Even so, Only The Lonely is a well-rounded and solid album with some incredible tracks. My only hope is that in their next, they balance the unique qualities and authenticity found in When I Was Younger, while developing as artists.