Colleen Green is one of Southern California’s anachronistic, surf pop musicians that every mellow stoner dreamt of encountering at some point in their lives. Her newest release, an EP appropriately titled Colleen Green sounds like the lo-fi surf pop that saturated the headphones of everyone walking down Venice beach in the 90s. With its happy, measured guitar and vocals that sound more like Aimee Mann, this album is reminiscent of something from another decade, and that’s not a bad thing.
There are three main points to discuss about this album and the first one is its simplicity. At first listen, this album appears to be simple and it is. There are no drum machines or overly complicated synthesizers. It is because of its simplicity that Colleen Green is so enjoyable. The second thing is the sound, more specifically Green’s vocals. If someone were to play this at a party, it would easily be mistaken as music from another time. The combination of Green’s vocals and the unpolished, minimalist approach to the sound, transport the listener to a sunny SoCal beach littered with skaters and tourists with fanny packs.
The last thing is the lyrics. Instrumentally, this EP is not inventive, but what sets it apart from other music and musicians are the lyrics. Lyrically, Green is far more sophisticated than most of her contemporaries. They are not songs that use erudite language nor are the concepts presented foreign to the listener. The lyrics, instead, focus on the hopelessness that every human being experiences, all while under the guise of happy sounding bubblegum pop songs. The song “Cold Shoulder” starts out like any other pop song, with repetitive percussion and rhythmic guitar only offset by the words, “Sun, sun, fucking up my love now.” Or even more despairing, the song “Between the Lines” where she describes the uselessness of former partner using comparisons like, “You’re just a face without a name/You’re just a block of words with no intonation.”
If one is looking for catchy pop songs with dark undertones or some form of escapism, Colleen Green’s EP would be an excellent choice. The melodious hooks will get stuck in one’s head and the amount of daydreaming about glorified California beaches would make liven up any dreary afternoon.