The long awaited self titled debut from Atlanta’s Book of Colors was released earlier this year to much critical acclaim. The hypnotic psychedelic folk band brings a soulfulness through frontman André Paraguassu’s crooning over lush melodies and arrangements from an impressive cast of 15 musician’s that played on the debut. The harmonies and long list of instruments has Book of Colors sounding like nothing out there currently today, yet with an obvious ode to the past eras when the music was pure and not so overproduced.
Book of Colors momentum is strong after finally releasing one of the year’s best albums, and they aren’t ready to stop there. Be on the look out for a new single “Falling, Falling” coming soon, and don’t miss the chance to see the band live, usually with 6-8 members playing. Book of Colors next show is at the intimate Eddie’s Attic on July 16th with The Ruby Velle Trio.
We caught up with the main force behind Book of Colors, André Paraguassu, to ask the man behind such gorgeous sounds, when he isn’t creating, what is he listening to? What are the songs that are currently stuck on repeat for André? This week, André is the guest takeover for our Monomania playlist, a Spotify playlist of 30 (total) songs rotating in and out, updated weekly for your listening pleasure.
“Here’s a list of songs that I put way too much thought into compiling. Actually it’s only one of many lists that I wrote (and thought way too hard about).
After several attempts I finally decided to stay as true to the theme as possible, so here’s ten songs that I’ve genuinely listened to on repeat to the point that now I’ll only play them if I’m alone (because I’m too embarrassed to make anyone else listen to them again).
The only added theme is that every singer is a woman. There are a million valid reasons to make a list that celebrates female musicians, but this time it was actually mostly by accident. A lot of the most brilliant artists (and people) just happen to be women, so it kinda just turned out that way.” – André Paraguassu
TOPS – “Way to be Loved”
The way the guitars interact with each other (and the rhythm section) in this song is one of the catchiest things that’s ever happened, and has been a huge inspiration for me lately.
It’s just one very reserved rhythm guitar during the verses, like a James Brown song, but the second lead that comes in during the instrumental sections is magical… The extent that I see two guitarists doing funny little wiggly dances at each other almost qualifies as synesthesia.
Book of Colors’ new single has a big focus on interacting guitar parts, and finding this song when I did pushed me to make sure that the parts I was writing were going to make butts wiggle sufficiently.
Plus it’s a perfect song for strutting down the sidewalk on a sunny afternoon or dancing on the back porch at four in the morning, so it definitely gets a lot of air time in my life.
Komeda – “Focus”
Lena Karlsson is so wise and powerful, and this band’s use of alternating time signatures is glorious. I think everyone in the world should know and love this band. I don’t know. I bet they’re huge in Sweden (where they’re from), but I don’t feel like Googling it right now to find out.
My older brother bought What Makes It Go? back when I was thirteen or fourteen, so growing up I assumed that Komeda was relatively well known in America, but now I’m remembering that he was friends with a couple of Swedish exchange students at the time, so they probably turned him onto them.
If you’re a stranger to their music this song is as good a place as any to start. Really, this song could just play forever. Lyrically it’s very surrealistic, which is fitting for a song that appears to be about Man Ray.
It’s definitely another dancing in the backyard late at night song but also works well for drumming along on your steering wheel or projecting poetic significance into your current life situations.
Françoise Hardy – “Ton meilleur ami”
My French friend told me that this song is about a girl telling her boyfriend that his best friend has been trying to sleep with her (and asking if that would be cool with him in a coy way).
I can’t attest to that definitely being the intended meaning, but I can attest to it being a dreamboat of a song. The treble-heavy reverb on her voice hurts in the most pleasant way when played at an obscenely loud volume. Perfect for really early mornings, because why not arrive wherever you’re going feeling laid back and fancy?
Maria Bethânia – “Três Apitos”
I found this song a few years ago and became completely obsessed with it. Maria Bethânia’s voice is so sultry and rich, and her delivery is masterfully expressive and refined.
The guitar work is incredibly complex, but it plays like a simple lullaby. I wanted to cover this song a while ago, but then I realized how hard it was going to be to learn it and decided that I’d figure it out some other time (along with a hundred other songs I’m “totally going to cover”).
If you want to do a dramatic ballet performance for a cat this is your track. It also pairs nicely with tearful, knowing glances and gin-based beverages that feature slices of cucumber or something. And sunglasses (to hide the tears).
Molly Drake – “What Can a Song Do to You?”
I think it’s possible that this song could kill me if I listened to it on repeat too many times in a row. I’d eventually morph into a 1940’s-style Disney character (with those doey Snow White eyes), finally dissipating into a shimmery rainbow cloud.
Molly Drake is Nick Drake’s mother. Like most people, I had no idea that she was a songwriter until Family Tree was released in 2007 (a collection of mostly Nick Drake songs which included two of her original compositions), followed by a full album in 2013.
Joe Boyd (Nick Drake’s producer) is quoted as saying that this collection of songs is “the missing link in the Nick Drake story.” I agree. It’s also one of the most haunting albums I’ve ever heard.
This one is a classy choice if you’re planning on staring into the infinite abyss of time like a tiny, quivering, helpless infant.
Broadcast – “Where Youth and Laughter Go”
I honestly don’t know if anything has ever affected me as profoundly as the music of Broadcast. It’s impossible to explain how much I owe to this band so I’m not going to.
Cue this one up on your Victrola the next time you want to catch a glimpse of supreme perfect enlightenment while contemplating the esoteric beauty and/or horror of outgrowing your naivety and discarding it for a larger, deeper sense of redemption and harmony in the universe.
Sharon Van Etten – “You Didn’t Really Do That”
Cathartic and hypnotizing. Sharon Van Etten is like a savior who swims around at the bottom of the ocean handing out oxygen tanks to those in need.
Put in a request with the dj for this hot track if you want to bring a backdrop of weary alienation to the dance floor.
Chelsea Wolfe – “Flatlands”
If Sharon Van Etten is like a savior bringing oxygen to people who are underwater, Chelsea Wolfe is a shadowy wizard who grants you the ability to breathe water… and it’s terrifying.
Stick this one in your music contraption the next time you and your friends are sitting around the pool aching with a burning passion to actualize your dreams and escape the soul-sucking monotony of your predictable, narrow lives.
Angel Olsen – “All Right Now”
I know Angel just put out two fantastic singles (“The Intern” and “Shut Up Kiss Me”) that I should probably be listing instead (both of which I have actually been listening to on repeat since they came out), but I’ve probably listened to “All Right Now” more than Angel Olsen has at this point, so it had to make the list.
I consider this to be a comforting, uplifting song, but I guess that’s a bit like Netflix claiming that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a comedy.
Transmit this one from your surgically implanted Google device next time you have to steady yourself with a deep breath and continue foraging for food in some post-apocalyptic nightmare scenario that could very well occur (for all we know).
Tafo featuring Nahid Akhtar- “Karye Pyar”
This song comes from a collection of soundtrack singles from Pakistan’s film industry (based in Lahore and commonly referred to as Lollywood) between 1973-1980.
The mixture of western instrumentation (reverb-heavy electric guitars, Moog synthesizers, Farfisa organs, etc.) with the traditional Punjabi rhythms and melodies is mesmerizing. This collection is full of incredible songs, but this one in particular makes me flail around like I’m being electrocuted.
If this song doesn’t bring out your best dance moves (at least by the part that kicks in around 1:08) you might not have any. I’m sorry. Thank you. OK, bye now. See you next time. Thanks. Sorry. – André Paraguassu (Book of Colors)
All tracks on Spotify added to our “Monomania” playlist (kept fresh with 30 songs at a time) for your on the go playlist needs:
More Info on Book of Colors:
Facebook: Book of Colors