[News] Colouratura release the single “Mothman” taken from upcoming fourth album

US Progressive Rock act Colouratura release the single “Mothman” taken from upcoming fourth album “WTF Was That​?​!” due out on October 23, 2023 via Melodic Revolution Records. Purchase and Stream the track on Bandcamp:

If you are reading this, you are living in … THE FUTURE.

How are things ?

This is the fourth album by Colouratura – though it is the first time in our history I’ve decided to add liner notes proper. This album was recorded between early 2022 and wrapped summer of 2023, making it the longest time we’ve cumulatively spent making an album (Black Steeple Church doesn’t count as we took a long break and then restarted).

The funny thing is, “WTF Was That?!” wasn’t originally intended to be an album. For reasons I’m not going to get into here, we decided to go back to the independent model for our third album, Black Steeple Church and it proved to be a mistake. Well, the biggest mistake we ever made was breaking up – people really thought we were dead so it was kind of like starting all over. Also the industry model itself had changed – now even major acts were dropping singles like breadcrumbs over a period of months instead of a sprawling album all at once.

So in early 22 when Nate presented the “Toy Soldiers” demo to the band, I suggested we focus on crafting songs. Each tune would be a world unto itself that the listener could potentially get lost in and hear new things with every listen. Of course, the modern breadcrumb approach of promoting one song at a time seemed also to make sense for a project that does not, and likely never will, tour.

For many months there was no plan for an album. However, my situation was rapidly changing – my family was facing relocation thanks to the coal mine, meaning that I was leaving ShedSounds, the studio I built in between Colouratura’s first two records and recorded Unfamiliar Skies and Black Steeple Church in behind. It had also been my home for 30 years, so this obviously stirred up a wealth of emotions in me that led to me wanting to compose original material.

(Two songs came from this situation, “Lousy Smarch Weather” and “Flim Flam Man” – they were originally conceived as part of a suite but that never came to fruition.)

It wasn’t until early 2023 that the album concept finally came to be. Nathan James, the band’s primary songwriter, bassist and vocalist announced he was getting married in the summer and his future availability was in question. So if we wanted to complete the fourth Colouratura album, now was the time to settle on a concept and track order and get to work.

The “WTF Was That?!” concept came from a viewing of the film Everything Everywhere all at Once, in which it dawned on me that if I wanted to do the normal genre-hopping and multi mood settings that I never could quite get away with, it would work a whole lot better if I somehow tied it to the primary theme of the record.

WTF was that?!” was the name of a jam we’d recorded at the end of the “Headsplitter” sessions with Dave Trik. It was spontaneous, spur of the moment and a little bit silly – it seemed to be the * only * title and concept that would sustain putting songs like “Mothman” and “Away” on the same record as “Sleeping Giant” and “The LSD No No.”

With this in mind I drew up the tracklist based on the material we had already done and some speculative material. I can say with complete honesty that the track order I conceived in my head, before half of this stuff was even recorded, is the one we ended up with. With one exception, I think – we swapped “Away” and “Palace” in the final running order at the wise suggestion of guitarist Derek Pavlic. I’ll try to do this track-by-track.

WTF Was That?!” was an outtake from the August 2021 sessions with Gossamer / Brimstone Coven’s Dave Trik, the same sessions that produced “Headsplitter” and “Icarus” on Black Steeple Church.

The original sessions had everything stripped off of them and replaced except for Dave’s drum performance and a little bit of guitar lead. Everything else was built in post production with overdubs.

I pitched this brief instrumental as a ‘palette cleanser’ and also as a bridge between WTF?! and Black Steeple Church. I play the lead synth line here. Nate’s exclamation of “WTF WAS THAT?!” can be heard on the original sessions recording, but we felt that it wasn’t loud enough for the disc so the idea of using a voicemail was reprised from “There’s Something in my Basement.”

Guitarist and arranger Derek Pavlic adds: “WTF was an up-tempo jam from the sessions for Headsplitter and Icarus. We decided we really liked it and wanted to use it for the album so I overdubbed a bunch of extra tracks on it. A nice punchy opener.”

Toy Soldiers” is the first song Nate wrote for the current cycle of Colouratura activity which resulted in the completion of this album.

Nathan: “Toy Soldiers was written as a direct response to the beginning of the Ukrainian War – and as a call out to the warmongers responsible. They’re just as oblivious now to the human cost as we were as children playing war games in our backyards.

Flim-Flam Man” was the second of two tunes I wrote to get thru the traumatic loss of my childhood home to the coal mine. This was mostly a healthy way of channeling a lot of anger toward a situation that ultimately resulted in a healthy move and a happy future. Songs are songs, and while I don’t expect to write another song purely in a state of anger anytime soon, I do think this is a strong track on its own and it has a place here. It’s a bit of therapy.

Side Hustle” was written by drummer and composer Derek Ferguson of Refestramus. It will also appear on the contemporary Refestramus album “Intourist.” It was an exercise in giving up control. The irony is that the idea to feature my flute playing in this was entirely Derek Ferguson’s, however as I told him “this is a Refestramus song being covered by Colouratura,” as such the arrangement is (nearly) entirely our own.

Drummer Derek Ferguson (composer) adds:

When Ian asked me to write a song for Colouratura, I really didn’t think I’d be able to ever write a song for another band. Then the main riff occurred to me and I thought “this needs flute – lots of flute… Hey, wait… Ian plays flute!

The rest is better listened to than explained, but suffice it to say that Derek, Ian and Nate have elevated this song way beyond the simple riff I started humming as I walked down the street by my home… Looking generally crazy and murmuring “flute… flute!!!

Lousy Smarch Weather” thematically links back to “Flim-Flam Man,” as it was written during my move out of the rural country setting. We were getting hit with these massive, practically biblical storms and enduring extended power outages thanks to downed trees. I got to the point where the mere suggestion of weather that wasn’t mild would send me into dizzying panic attacks, and so that anxiety was worked out in this song. It was written during a blizzard, for the blizzard – and mysteriously another March blizzard occurred while we were recording the guitar parts!

Yes, the title is a classic Simpsons reference, but the music is inspired by a viewing of Big Trouble in Little China. My sense of humor gets me through the most difficult of times …

Away” was catalyzed by the reversal of Roe V Wade. Nate says:

It’s about the decline of the US government under the strong-arm of christofascism; and how I hope and pray that those lost souls campaigning for a reality they’ve chosen where they ARE God are woken up to the reality that they will be the LAST people let into the kingdom of Heaven when the time comes. It was a warning now and was then. Get away – Get out of here if you can.”

Palace of Blood” was originally written for a concept album that I was working on with Ohio stoner metal band Gossamer with Derek Pavlic called West Virginia Gothic. It’s long been a dream of mine to create the Songs from the Wood of the Ohio Valley – a collection of songs centered around the folklore of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This piece was inspired by horrific murders that were carried out in the name of Krishna at the current sight of the Palace of Gold in Moundsville, WV.

Nathan liked the song and idea so it lives here. It was originally a synth demo that I created for WV Gothic that Derek Pavlic completely rearranged and retooled. More on the OV Gothic idea later …

Derek Pavlic adds:

Palace of Blood is a 7-string creation; a very Steve Vai-influenced track. It’s like a tone poem that captures the story of the Palace – almost like a spooky old folk tune.

SIMR” is what it means to you – what does it mean to you???

Sleeping Giant” continues the political thread that runs through a lot of Nathan’s lyrics on this album. Nathan says:

Sleeping Giant started life as a bass lick I liked, and once Derek got his hands on it it blossomed into the current form. I knew I wanted to write something about the current climate crisis and the malicious indifference of the people causing it – and this ended up being the right number for that.

Musically the edict was “there are no guitar solos.” The main synth lines are performed by me but the synth overdubs are Derek’s work and concept. This is the one where we discovered that if Nate and I sing together, it sounds double tracked.

Derek Pavlic, who created the demo, played guitar and created all the synth and other arrangements, adds:

Sleeping Giant is a very spiritual tune for me. I had no real specific ideas about it – I just followed my intuition. Similar to “Headsplitter,” I just went with the stream-of-consciousness process of creation. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

The LSD No-No” was a continuation of the OV folklore thread started with “Palace of Blood” and completed with “Mothman.” Doc Ellis was a maverick baseball pitcher who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates during their greatest era, the early 70s. I happened across the story of Ellis’ infamous “LSD No-No,” in which he pitched a no hitter tripping on acid. Something about the story resonated with me, and the inherent contradictions, the fear of losing vs the fear of winning and what it takes for some to face those fears, seemed like solid grounds for an interesting song.

I sing lead vocals here for the first time ever. Not much to say except that Nathan says that the album really properly came together for him when I emerged as the lead singer on this track. Thanks Nate!

Mothman” is the final part of the loose OV folklore trilogy. Mothman is a cryptid, easily mentioned in the same sentence as a Bigfoot or Nessie. Hailing from Point Pleasant, WV, the legendary creature has been spotted as far as Chicago, IL and has captured the imaginations of many OV residents. He has been the subject of books, films and he even has his own statue in Point Pleasant.

Perhaps the weirdest thing about this tune is that it was originally written for Black Steeple Church, and was demoed back then (if you have a copy, check the special thanks in the inside cover).

Here’s what Nate has to add:

Mothman has been in the oven for a long time – both mirroring how difficult it was to achieve practically, and my own slow admission and embracing of my true sexuality. Other than that – Mothman is about a dude who loves Mothman. Read into it what you want to – it’s goofy fun.

Perhaps the thing which separates “WTF Was That?!” from Black Steeple Church is that it is, in effect, a ‘conscious creation’ whereas BSC was an ‘unconscious creation.’ BSCs songs were mostly drawn from improvisations with a few written, demo’d songs sprinkled in to fill it out. WTF, with the exception of the title track, was demo’d extensively. Every instrument, idea and mix choice pondered over and lived with.

To my mind, this is the most complete and balanced Colouratura creation yet. With this album, we have matured and made the album I have dreamed of making for years, and we’ve done it in perhaps the most playful way possible. I hope you enjoy this recording and revisit it for years to come.

Ian Beabout (producer, songwriter, flautist, arranger and singer)

Pre-Order the album on Bandcamp: https://colouratura.bandcamp.com/album/wtf-was-that


  1. WTF Was That?!
  2. Toy Soldiers
  3. Flim-Flam Man
  4. Side Hustle
  5. Lousy Smarch Weather
  6. Away
  7. Palace of Blood
  8. SIMR
  9. Sleeping Giant
  10. The LSD No-No
  11. Mothman

Ian Beabout / production, editing, backing vocals, microKorg synth, flute, field recordings (3) theremini (5), lead vocals (10)
Nathan James / bass, lead vocals, backing vocals, keyboard and synths (2, 11), acoustic guitar (6)
Derek Pavlic / guitars, viola (6,7) mellotron and synths (7, 9), glockenspiel (7, 9, 10), vocoder (11)
Derek Ferguson
/ drums (except 1, 6), keyboards and percussion (4)
Dave Trik / drums (1)
Chris Boros / mellotron (2)
Mitch Lawrence / saxophone solo (11)
Jacopo Muneratti / moth swat (11)

Coloratura |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Spotify|

Melodic Revolution Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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