You may have never heard of Colors and Carousels, but that’s what Soundfiction is here to correct. The Waynesboro, PA duo of Ridge and Roland Bingaman have made a big name for themselves in the surrounding area with their previous full band, Skyhawk Drive. Following that success, they decided to form their own duo to make more personalized, unrestricted music; this gave birth to We Made This, a haunting album that explores the brother’s deepest thoughts and fears. One of the most impressive things about this album is that it was recorded, mixed and mastered entirely by them. After releasing the album in 2015, They pulled the album from the internet several months ago, but due to popular demand, have remastered the album and put it back up for re-release.
Colors and Carousels is certainly a unique brand. Fusing a few different genres to create an interesting, stylized sound that relies heavily on dark, dissonant electronic sounds. Interesting is the keyword here: once you start listening, you don’t want to stop. It’s quite literally fun to listen to, flows well, and going back in for several listens reveals new things you didn’t hear on the last listen through, the same way you uncover new little things after re-watching it. “Scary” is an intense, brooding song that speaks about the hardships of common life and wanting to escape to earlier, simpler times. “Mr. Evil Ego” and “Eclipse” are particularly different from the rest of the album stylistically. “Mr. Evil Ego” is bright and uses carnival-like, kiddish vocal melodies to create this unsettling tone that could feature in a horror film. Eclipse utilizes acoustic drums, and a thick, fuzzy bass line that roots the song in a funky, R&B style, which was definitely a surprise. There was a bit of failed execution here, however: there are some hits that don’t line up perfectly, making the live elements feel segmented from the electronic overtones in the song. If it was tighter, it would have been great to see some more of these elements in the rest of the album.
The brothers maintain their penchant for quality throughout the entire twelve track full length, and keeping it fresh and full of energy and life. Each track is different from the follows in it’s technicalities. but for the most part they keep a consistent style and tone throughout, making We Made This feel like a cohesive project rather than a series of ideas they just slapped together. There are even some recurring parts, like the arpeggio that is heavily highlighted in the opening track, “Knowledge”, that also reappears in “Vacation’s Over”. The consistency in production and restraint that Colors and Carousels shows, proves their musical talent and maturity.
Overall, We Made This is what I would classify as a must listen. Especially for those who enjoy supporting local content. Dark, emotive synths, and vocals that range from smooth to intense and gritty make this an enchanting experience that keeps you coming back for more every time. Go pick up the album while you can, cause you never know when they might decide to take it down again, and it will definitely last you for years to come.
Album Review: Colors and Carousels – We Made This (2017 Remaster)
A haunting electronic album that explores personal and relateable themes. For fans of Linkin Park, Imagine Dragons, and EDEN.