Around this time last year, I made sure to tell numerous people about an unknown Los Angeles indie pop band. A massive radio hit, top 10 album and two Grammy nominations later, Foster the People has done nothing but confirm my prediction.
This year, I'm making a similar prediction. A rising London-based indie quintet has just released what will soon be regarded as the album of 2012. Graffiti6 is this year's Foster the People.
A brilliant debut album is a pretty efficient way to get noticed, and with the release of "Colours," Graffiti6 has done just that.
Founded in 2008 by songwriter/frontman Jamie Scott and guitarist/producer TommyD, Graffiti6 released its first full-length album via Capitol Records at the end of January.
"Colours" is a diverse work filled with soul, engaging electronic beats and masterful producing from start to finish. Leading off, "Stone in My Heart" sets the tone for the rest of the album. An energizing pop tune, "Stone" sounds like Foster, Fitz & the Tantrums and James Morrison collaborated to create a brilliant synthesis of pop and soul. After one listen of the first track, it's evident there's something special about this band.
"Annie You Save Me" continues the pattern. Scott deserves great credit for the engineering on "Annie." Subtle string and organ parts exponentially enhance the rich melody and captivating bass line of Pete Cherry. TommyD and Scott have production chemistry that cannot be forged.
"Free" will be this year's "Pumped Up Kicks." It's by far the gem of a fantastic album. The well-executed build-up leads into a soulful and emotional chorus that carries into the latter stages. Once again, the song is made by genius production. The ascending strings and bells flawlessly complement perfectly timed guitar fills. Six months from now, "Free" will be a staple on top 40 radio. The last track is an edited version of "Free," which features an alternate acoustic guitar part.
While the strength of "Colours" undeniably lies in the front half, Graffiti6's deep tracks are very worthwhile; "Goodbye Geoffrey Drake," in particular, stands out. A contemplative ballad with a bluesy vibe, this could be the sleeper hit of "Colours." The track is most likely a nod to Geoffrey Drake, an obscure British cinematic art director, best known for an Academy Award nomination in 1972. The film, "Young Winston," apparently resonated with the group. "Geoffrey Drake" is full of Dylan Thomas-esque allusions to the English World War II home front and its revered leader Winston Churchill.
Scott and TommyD have potentially made the album of the year. In due time, "Colours" will become a chart-topper. It's rare for a debut effort to be such a strong combination of creative and commercial. Expect to see this band at the Grammys next year. Scott may very well be the next Danger Mouse: a prolific producer equally adequate on stage.
Alex Eaton is a senior at Clarence High School.