Amamelia. Credit: Frances Carter
'Colourbox' is lush, syrupy and ethereal. Piano chords, synth strings and reedy melodies cruise atop a fluttering beguine beat, reminiscent of playful experiments on Casiotone keyboards, or the games you might have played on your Nintendo. Vocals from Maddison Van Staden (Van Staden and Bohm) and Hannah Rewick are the perfect addition, adding an even more playful colour to the track. Once the breakbeat kicks in, the track becomes irresistibly danceable.
"I originally started writing 'Colourbox' in 2015, for my band Polyester (then still Kip McGraph) but never finished it." says Berry. "For this Amamelia version I wanted it to roll out like an old jazz standard, where listeners hear a verse once and then the rest of the song is variations of the chorus, like something from a Busby Berkeley musical but with breakbeats."
The tracks' chimes and strings are diaphanous, but it manages to retain warmth and earthiness with woody synths and a beat that keeps us connected with the physical world. It pairs absolutely perfectly with Simon Ward's visual accompaniment; a fuzzy, colourful fusion of natural and animated sphere. It evokes an otherworldly energy - like one of the most lucid dreams you've ever had (perhaps set in the Animal Crossing universe), with a slightly distorted sheen because you can't remember every detail.
"I really love the nostalgic mood and how it's a genuine love song but comes at it from the side, in a really natural way," says Ward. "It was fantastic working with Amelia, we both have quite similar interests in weird films, games and music. She was playing a lot of Ape Escape and wanted a video game feeling for the video. In my head I had some overly complicated love letter to animation, set outside in a natural environment (but made on the computer). After we chatted a bit, it ended up becoming a mix of things we both love."
It incorporates simple, nostalgic animation with experimental imagination, also nodding to Len Lye's 1935 experimental film 'A Colour Box.'
"My original video idea involved a 3d character making a large scale paint on film animation so when things shifted to video games I tried the pixel art version of Len Lye... MSPaint on Film. I tried to mimic that process at a super small scale on the computer, drawing lines and blobs on a very thin digital canvas in Aseprite, then position animating that, like a film strip going through a projector at 25fps."
Bananamelia! is Amamelia's sophomore album, coming to us on November 3 via Sunreturn both digitally and on LP. You can preorder it here.