Leon De Baughn is in Perth, finalising some tracks for the new album. He’s got a bit on his plate to organise before he joins band-mates Phil Slabber, currently in Sydney, and Liam Merrett-Park in Melbourne. Collectively, they are Perth-Born Crooked Colours and together they’re heading to the U.S for a November tour. “We’re just trying to scramble and finish off the album, there’s just a few songs that we need to kind of tie over.”
They’ve had a busy run, touring here and overseas – 84 dates in 18 months. It’s not slowing down just yet either. When they get back to Australia they’re back on the road in February for Laneway.
It’s because of all this their forthcoming album has taken over a year to make, longer even than the year-long recording process for Vera. While details for the sophomore album are mostly under embargo, De Baughn has allowed himself to tell us, “It’s very similar to what we’ve done on Vera, we’re just probably moving in a more of a dancier direction, bit more upbeat tracks.”
Would they rather wrap an album quicker? “I think the way we write, it ends up taking us a lot longer than what we would like. We don’t really pump out songs, we just sit on them and mull on them for ages and tinker with them. We end up spending ages. But it would be nice. Maybe moving forward, the next album, next time, we just pump em’ out a lot quicker and just get them out there.”
The trio make music that is both menacing and upbeat – imagine, if you can, Donkey Kong finding himself stuck in Doom. Crooked Colours straddle both the indie and dance genres. A far-flung sound that can probably only come from a place as removed as Perth – a city that has borne other great Aussie acts with distinctive sounds like San Cisco and Tame Impala.
De Baughn seems to think the reason for this is the breathing space in Perth, the free-range music scene. “I think because Perth in general is very spread out. (It’s) got quite a lot of different scenes and people doing their own thing, so I don’t think everyone copies each other, everyone does what they think sounds cool or whatever, and that’s just how it goes.”
The irony for the band is that they’re now spread all around the country, but working remotely doesn’t hamper their output – it might even help. “We have a Dropbox that we just send ideas to. You can just literally pick them up and start working on them, if Phil’s in Sydney and Liam’s in Melbourne or whatever…”
Though De Baughn tells us Merrett-Park has really adopted his new home, Melbourne, settling on a footy team to follow and all (Essendon, for those wondering). “We kind of work better by ourselves, if we’re all together it’s like everyone’s on top of each other.”
Catch Crooked Colours during Laneway 2019 at Brisbane Showgrounds on February 2nd, Sydney’s Callan Park on February 3rd and/or Melbourne’s Footscray Park on February 9th.
Check out their new track here.
Written by Darby-Perrin Larner