For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Crooked Colours are a fresh electronic trio from Perth, Western Australia.
Comprised of Philip Slabber, Leon Debaughn and Liam Merrett-Park, the group has graced the stages of Wonderland, Parklife and St Jerome’s Laneway festivals and have performed alongside artists including Flume, PNAU, and Grafton Primary.
Early this year, Crooked Colours ended an 18-month hiatus with the successful release of their long-awaited debut album, Vera, in June.
And to follow up what has already been a big year for the band – think tours around Australia and Europe – the band have joined up with New Caledonia, yep, the South Pacific island, to make a music track and video inspired by the sounds of the destination, titled ‘Sounds of New Caledonia’. Not only did it give Slabber, Debaughn and Merrett-Park the opportunity to think far and wide creatively
about their music and making music, it also shows off New Caledonia in a pretty different way.
Lost At E Minor sat down with the band to chat about their album and new collab:
Can you start by telling us about the creativity behind your music?
“For us, our music is purely about what we want to create and what we would like to listen to. We very rarely look to what other artists are creating to see what is connecting with an audience. That’s not to say that we don’t draw inspiration from artists that we admire, but more to say that we don’t create music with the intention of going after a certain sound that is in fashion.
“Our music has developed since some of our earlier work but that’s simply an outcome of us learning more along the way. Since we first started writing music together, we have learnt so much about production and how to more accurately record the ideas we have in our minds.
“A lot of the time we get asked why it took so long for us to release a debut album, but in all honesty, we’re glad it took us this long as it meant that the final product is something that we are all really proud of and a piece of work that we wouldn’t have been able to create even 12 months ago.”
>>Watch Crooked Colours create a set of original music tracks and video influenced by the unique sounds of New Caledonia
So you recorded some beautiful sounds in New Caledonia. What were your favourite places you visited over there?
“The number one highlight for us would have to be the island of Lifou. The island is an absolute
paradise from the perfect white sand beaches to the dense, vibrant jungle. From a sound point of
view, we went on a walk to Mt Koghi just outside of Noumea to shoot a scene for an upcoming film
“In order to get to the final location, which was at the base of a waterfall, we had to go on a
beautiful walk through the jungle to get there.
“There was a moment when we all just stopped in silence for around 15 minutes and it was then
that we all realised just how many natural sounds were all around us, from the birds to the insects – even the different sounds of the trees and the water running around us.
“We managed to record a long take of these sounds and release them as a relaxation track, which
we feel actually does put you in that place in that moment.”
Can you describe a couple of cool experiences that drove your creative inspiration on this trip?
“One really cool experience we had was on a wooden canoe trip. Not only were we able to capture
some great sounds from the canoe and waves, but the open water was also great at clearing our
minds for creativity. The overall laid-back nature of the islands was also key to the style of song we created for this campaign.
“It was impossible not to be inspired by everything around us.”
From your experience, what can you tell us about the music there?
“It is an incredibly lively place. People enjoy their music and are all very passionate. It’s obviously a melting pot of different influences from the local culture to the French language, which created something very unique.”
Were there any other experiences or places in New Caledonia that inspired the creativity behind your music?
“One thing in particular that inspired us was travelling with Edou, a local musician. He was able to give us a lot more insight than if it was just ourselves looking from an outsiders’ perspective. He gave us a great look into the French and Kanak language, too.”
“It really is the perfect combination of French-European lifestyle and tropical paradise. For a really incredible experience, we suggest visiting the fascinating Tjibaou Cultural Centre – we can’t recommend this highly enough.”
>>Watch a behind-the-scenes video of Crooked Colours in New Caledonia