Superlove’s full-length debut was always going to be the biggest test of what they’re capable of. The piecemeal release strategy they’ve favoured up to now can only last so long before something more substantial is wanted instead, and to be completely honest, nothing that Superlove have done so far has proven that they’re equipped to take that on. The huge gulfs of inconsistency in their output has regularly been the greatest obstacle in their path, in what’s felt like a two-way pull between super-dense, Don Broco-esque alt-rock and glassy hyperpop, ultimately setting to try both and ignore the foundational cracks that might ultimately make. And it’s rather telling that on Colours, which is probably Superlove’s least diffuse endeavour to date as far as their genre pile-ups go, that’s still the thing that’s holding them back. It’s almost lampshaded in the way its presented here, in an intro that seems to be picking and choosing from a myriad of different, diverse sounds, with little consideration to how that might play out as a musical whole. It’s all well and good to pull from a variety of sources as the band clearly have, but from the clunk that comes in the transition between straight-ahead alt-rock on Save Yourselves and World Of Wonder to sugary electro-pop on Maybe I Could Tell You, it’s made abundantly clear that Colors isn’t without edges to be trimmed. To be fair though, that’s the most extreme instance of it, and more than anything else they’ve done previous, Superlove are at least able to leverage some of their vast-reaching pool for some rather cool moments. wanna luv u definitely stands out for substituting hyperpop’s scraping fractals with heavier bass and guitar stabs, and the title track and Bestfriend probably show the most connective tissue in an alt-rock / electro-pop fusion.
It’s a slow advancement that Superlove are making but an advancement nonetheless, where the threads can be seen weaving together into something unquestionably unique, but also workably so. That can make some of the needed tweaks fall out rather easily though, like a need for clearer direction that would solve a lot of issues on its own, or getting rid of the sounds of birds chirping that fill the negative space on almost every track and really get distracting. But amid all of that, the signs of a fundamentally good, creative all-rounder band are there, and usually are what hold this together the most. The melodic instincts are frequently solid and come out more often when their accoutrements get out of the way on Baby Bird and Yours, and the lyricism is what you’d expect from a band with both Britrock tendencies and a streak in tune with a Gen Z mindset, but seldom objectionable for what they are. And yes, vocalist Jacob does still sound like Broco’s Matt Donnelly, though it’s less distracting when there’s so much more going on around it; it’s still noticeable, but now more just a contributing piece of Superlove’s garish, hyperactive tapestry. If nothing else, it’s good that they sound like they’re doing exactly want they want to do and getting better at it, something that even a greater need for tightening can’t dull too much. That’s not to say that should be disregarded, in what feels like the only way for Superlove to reveal their best selves in a way that’s yet to really be put on show. For now though, this is another alright stepping stone from a band who’ve become remarkably good at making that exact thing.
For fans of: Don Broco, headache, Press To MECO
‘Colours’ by Superlove is released on 1st April on Rude Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall