New Music Of The Day: Corbu – ‘Crayon Soul’ (NME Album Premiere)

Corbu just want to take you on a musical journey into space. It’s a sentiment you imagine the past clients of their debut album’s mixer, Dave Fridmann, would approve of: Flaming Lips, MGMT and Tame Impala have all worked with the man. But before you embark on the journey, you’ll need to close your eyes and kickstart your imagination first, because ‘Crayon Soul’ is more of a movie than an album, they say.

The New York electro-psych duo’s debut is a sci-fi story inspired by trippy Cartoon Network shows like Adventure Time and Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555. The musical influences are strong too, drawn from some of the band’s favourite space music – think ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, Solar Bears and Boards of Canada.

In their tale, says frontman and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Graves, “The narrator falls into the ocean at night and wakes up in a new place / in a different life. He encounters these giant, inter-dimensional creatures called ‘time beings’, and has to save them (and everyone else) from a sentient, dark liquid that’s swallowing the universe. There’s also a female character who runs things, and is a lot smarter than he is.”


Along with Amanda, who co-writes and plays synths in the band, Jonathan wants to translate that experience into their live shows too – especially those where they’re supporting Bloc Party. “We want it to feel more like you’re watching a movie when you see us. Everything about the live experience, from the images behind us to the clothes we’re wearing, relates to the story and is taken from it. It’s not an obvious, overly theatrical thing, but more like a constant stream of references and nods to it.”

Of all the tracks on the album, it’s probably the awe-inspiring, spaced-out majesty of ‘Branches’ that provides the most cosmic experience, but give the whole thing a listen below – and avoid the sentient goo if you can.

‘Crayon Soul’ is out Aug 5th via 3Beat (EU) & Big Picnic (US).

See the band’s US tour dates below:
Mon 1 Underground Arts, Philadephia
Tue 2 DC 9. Washington DC
Wed 3 Brillobox, Pittsburgh
Fri 5 Mercury Lounge, New York (Album launch show)
Tue 13 Ogden Theater, Denver (w/ Bloc Party)
Thu 15 Roseland Theatre, Portland (w/ Bloc Party)
Fri 16 Commadore Ballroom, Vancouver (w/ Bloc Party)
Sat 17 Neptune Theater, Seattle (w/ Bloc Party)
Mon 19 Mezzanine, San Francisco (w/ Bloc Party)
Wed 21 Marquee Theater, Tempe (w/ Bloc Party)
Sat 24 Observation N Park, San Diego (w/ Bloc Party)
Fri 30 Austin City Limits Music Festival