Colour Waits in the Dark is an interesting hybrid of genres that can be boiled down to “alternative rock” if one was forced to pick. This does the new album from Banfi a huge disservice, however. Colour Waits in the Dark mixes folk, electronica, pop and to an extent industrial music into one remarkable collection.
Of the more energetic tracks, So Bright and Always Goodbye lift the mood with catchy pop beats. There’s a folk heart at the centre of these but the bouncing electronic beat makes them wonderfully fresh. So Bright in particular is a great song. The track is a fantastic upbeat sampler for the album. The hybrid nature here showcases what listeners are in store for with the rest of the album.
On top of all the addictive beats is Joe Banfi’s voice. The folk heart at the root of the album comes alive through Banfi’s vocals. His emotive range varies throughout the tracks, even within the tracks at times. Songs like Easy Now and Somewhere Back There highlight Banfi’s soft, relaxing lyricism whereas other songs such as Watch it Fall and In Your Arms have an almost pained nature to them.
Outside of the pop beats and Banfi’s voice the instrumentals also offer an impressive mix. Redstart is reminiscent of 90’s trance songs and is a welcome surprise on the album. Horror Vacui is every bit as disconcerting as it sounds as it builds to a crescendo suitable for its namesake.
Colour Waits in the Dark is an odd album. More than anything it showcases Joe Banfi’s frankly outstanding musical abilities considering he self-produced and recorded the album prior to taking it to Eliot James for mixing. But the variety of the album is both a positive and a negative. The album fails to capture the pop high of So Bright again but it’s unlikely Banfi wanted to, given the nature of the variety. The darker tracks may not be to everyone’s tastes, especially in today’s climate. And so Colour Waits in the Dark is again an interesting album but the mixture of genres as well as the overall tone isn’t for everyone.