Bobsled Team are a two-piece band who wear their DIY heart on their sleeves and keep their cards close to their chests. There’s not much out there on a band that appeared in the midst of last year’s lockdown summer with a perky little track called ‘This Pink Moon’, gathering praise from all manner of indie blogs. A year on, Oliver and Kimberley have brought their debut album into the world, The Colours Blur.
The Colours Blur is a marker of their story so far, their first three singles at home on a collection of 90s indie inspired tunes. There’s no denying the distinct rawness and lo-fi production apparent across the album, but it’s all part of the band’s DIY approach that shouts from their core. There’s pop and indie rock in the mix, but it’s all so carefree. There’s plenty of tunes that shimmer like summer in the likes of ‘You’re So Cool’ and ‘Drive’ but there’s a lot more here besides, such as loud/quiet/loud Pixies ode ‘Never Mind’ where the album’s title originates or the pleading of ‘Can You Stay?’ that wants to soundtrack a heartfelt 80s movie. The rough production may not be to everyone’s taste but the DIY dreamers’ debut has heart and charm.
We asked the band to give us a rundown of the album’s ten tracks, so here we go…
You’re so Cool
Writing music is always a weird mystery — I never know where the melodies drift down from. The songs began life as demos on a beat-up 8 track recorder made in the 1990s. The little machine uses zip disks which are no longer manufactured, we have to search for them all over the net. The wee recorder is great: no autotune, the punch-in button is bust, no cutting or pasting. ‘You’re so Cool’ was the first song written for the album. There’s a Fender turned up loud. Some bass and drums. The vocals float amongst the guitar fuzz.
The songs on the album are pretty much in the order they were recorded. Some nice American blog wrote (insert cool New York accent here) that ‘Drive’ was “like riding on a train’s open car, while the world is slowly passing by, with wheat fields as far as the eye can see.” Pretty cool! Gemma Bradley said on the radio that it was very dreamy. (We like dreamy) We were kind of chuffed when Fresh on the Net picked it as one of their favourite tracks and thought it reminded them of Sub-Pop bands like Beach House. We work on the arrangements together; Kimberley came up with the cool choral ending.
This Pink Moon
This is a little song about a pink moon. We both like to daydream. It was our first single. The blogs thought it was a bit leftfield and a little weird. One night we heard it come on the ATL radio show and they said it sounded like 90s guitar riffs coming down on a shore of melody. Class! By this stage, we had bought more equipment, upgraded from the 8 track so we could capture the drums. Recording late into the night, we were just following our creative impulses.
This kind of sounds like an old tape cassette found in the back of Neil Young’s pickup truck.
Lullaby began with a simple line then kind of took off from there—it was like a blur of colourful melody in my head. We finished it very quickly. A quiet little guitar. Bass. Strings. Drums. It got picked for Indie and Folk Radio’s Spotify and Youtube playlist. Someone wrote the comment, “Feels like drowning in a melty slurpee full of Jack Daniels and Cokes.” Is that a good thing?
Dreamy grunge. The title of the album is in this song: “The way we were / watch the colours blur.” It’s definitely our most guitar-heavy song. Expect when the guitars aren’t playing.
A nostalgic kind of song — the lo-fi guitar sounds like cool ice water sprinkling down on your head. We both like the Cocteau Twins. By now, we had released three singles and built up a very small organic following thanks to the cool alternative blogs, radio shows, and some people telling their friends. Japan. Denmark. New Zealand. USA. Sweden. Canada. We tried to think how to get all these individual people from across the world into the same room together so that we had enough fans for a bobsled team gig….
Can you Stay?
Our thoughts are made like balloons / float away to…
A hip blog in Austin said there is “a joyous vibrancy that combines melody and wildness, particularly when you get to this song’s chorus.” I’ve always been drawn to the underground scene. Bands like Sonic Youth making their own little zines. It’s so great to be getting in all these cool alternative blogs; they write with such passion and the whole vibe is so artistic and communal.
bobsled team at their most shoegaze. “Sometimes the butterflies in my mind catch your eye.” We started to get nice little messages about whether the album would have a physical release. So, we looked into it and have put it out as a short run of vinyl. A guy called Loz mastered the album—he practices Zen archery to refresh his headspace between jobs. Our type of guy! You can find it on our Bandcamp page.
One of my favourite albums is Pet Sounds. A little lo-fi, drifty song to end the album. Chimes and a French horn.