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Color Palette Find Stillness in Motion with ‘Pacing Like a Lion’

On April 14, D.C.-based indie dream pop band Color Palette released their latest EP, Pacing Like a Lion. The lush, shimmery 3-song collection journeys through spaces of lost and found – and back again – eventually arriving at a sense of presence.

The EP begins with the rhythm-driven title track, “Pacing Like a Lion,” which explores the physical and emotional effects of life on the road as a musician, where cities and venues start to blur as discernably as the sea of faces in the crowd from on stage.

“I was sitting in the green room, waiting for soundcheck, talking to the sound tech / Hurry up and wait here for hours, then you’ll play here, load out your gear / On to the next show, get in the car and drive far, far, far,” Jay Nemeyer, Color Palette’s principal songwriter and vocalist, sings in the opening lines.

The pulse of the bass guitar and drums, along with atmospheric synths, envelop listeners in sound and motion that capture the feeling of oscillating on a pendulum between something that is equally mesmerizing and destabilizing. “Pacing Like a Lion” incorporates elements of Color Palette’s signature vibrant electronic sound while adding heavier undertones that align with the subject matter. The solo break, in particular, signifies loss of control over circumstances that are predictable but no less jarring.

Nemeyer notes that Color Palette’s collaboration with Amsterdam, Netherlands label, Enroute Records, was a “perfect fit,” allowing the band to experiment with new sounds. “Both parties are drawn to songs that attempt to create a blend of organic and synthetic/electronic elements,” said Nemeyer. “I was a fan of the label before we started working together.” Joshua Hunter, Matt Hartenau, Rogerio Naressi, and Maryjo Mattea round out the band’s lineup.

“Lightbulb,” the EP’s second track, slows the pace down with its spacey vibe similar to the disorienting feeling of waking up for the day ahead while running on only a few hours of rest. In the midst of the fog, however, clarity breaks through. The repeated line “everything seems so simple now” lifts from the track, suggesting that simplicity exists within complexity if we’re willing to pursue it.

“We’re not waiting for our moment anymore / We’re taking it,” the closing lines of “Lightbulb,” feel hopeful and affirming like a turning point, directing audiences “Home” to the final track of the EP. “Home,” one of my personal favorites, finds Color Palette incorporating industrial sounds, including grunge, in a way that is fresh for new listeners and longtime fans alike.

The verses of “Home” are sung in a deliberate monotonous fashion, and the juxtaposition with the soaring chorus – “Home is where you’re with me / Far away, and in my dreams” – creates a breathtaking, powerful effect. Listeners notice that questions are in greater abundance than answers in the song, reflecting the mystery of life and living.

Although the narrator finds that they are still “stuck on an endless highway, grappling with the truth” by the end of the EP, the concept of home expands beyond a coordinate on a map to the realization that our center is grounded rather by the people who are committed to embarking with us on the journey ahead in every season.

Wammie Award-winning Color Palette has shared the stage with world-renowned artists such as Charli XCX, and their music has garnered placements with NBC Universal, ESPN, MTV, Vimeo, Monster Energy, and more. The consistent quality of their growing body of work coupled with their one-of-a-kind sound make Color Palette an unequivocal standout within the DMV and beyond.

With its timely themes and compelling delivery, Color Palette’s Pacing Like a Lion is worth a listen and many repeat visits. Check out the live performance video of the title track below, and songs from the EP on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify and YouTube.

Cynthia Gross

Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.

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