As we head towards the end of another summer, there is always one band that produces an reminiscent soundtrack. This summer it is the turn of Brisbane, Australia’s Columbus. Their debut album, ‘Spring Forever’, is a coming of age record with an underlying punk ethos.
“‘Spring Forever’ is a lot about love, but it’s also a lot about coming to terms with the way that you feel, getting older and acknowledging that better days are coming, and spring is right around the corner,” says vocalist/guitarist Alex Moses.
Formed during their teenage years in high school, Alex joined by drummer Daniel Seymour and bassist Ben Paynter, would spend their free time playing Green Day songs before writing their first EP, ‘Sad Songs and Sing-Alongs’, in 2013. Those early recordings formed a base of sincerity that ‘Spring Forever’ expands on.
“I think ‘Spring Forever’ is a melancholy punk rock record that while speckled with youthful energy and angst, hopefully, retains some maturity. The band’s sound has definitely changed over the years. I think it is a lot more of a "rock” record than the EP’s,“ states Alex when asked to sum up the albums tone.
As heard on lead single, ‘Raindrop’, the Aussie trio produce a radiant and sincere brand of upbeat punk. Whilst the track itself serves as an ideal introduction to Columbus. On the track, Alex said "it is a good image of what the record sounds like. We wanted to choose a song that retained the upbeat youthful feel of our earlier EP’s, but had the maturity of ‘Spring Forever’.”
‘Spring Forever’ also marks the trio’s first venture with notable Aussie-based label UNFD. Known as the home for heavier bands such as In Hearts Wake, Northlane, Deez Nutz, and Thy Art Is Murder, Alex explains that the label is more than just another metalcore-heavy label:
“I think what UNFD is showing that it’s a lot more than just a ‘heavy’ label and that its umbrella of bands can contain music from all corners of the alternative genre spectrum. Akin to every heavier band on the label, we’re just here to make music we enjoy, and we’re happy to share a label with the other bands of UNFD, regardless of how much distortion they use, or what sounds their mouths make.”
Nevertheless, Columbus are part of a growing pool of Aussie bands making waves overseas. It is fellow countrymen Trophy Eyes, Luca Brasi and With Confidence along with label-led festival Unify that exposed Columbus to a wider audience at home, and now abroad. “I definitely think we have a strong music scene in Australia. There’s so many talented and passionate bands that come out of our little continent, and it’s always exciting to see another mate’s band make it overseas for a tour,” says Alex.
Having joined UNFD at the start of 2016, Columbus found themselves with a variety of new opportunities, most notably to record ‘Spring Forever’ with former Defeater guitarist Jay Mass. Having previously worked with a variety of influential names; Title Fight, State Champs, Polar Bear Club, Transit, Mass helped enhance Columbus’ growing lyrical matureness, taking the songs from Moses’ bedroom and shaping them into heartfelt anthems. However, songs such as ‘Daffodil’, ‘Learn To Swim’ and ‘Hopeless’ allow the trio to retain a vibrant adolescent tone.
On the experience of working with Mass, Alex told us “Jay was such a positive influence in the studio, and he really helped get the best out of us. Having a fourth set of fresh ears hearing the songs offered us an honest opinion on the songs, and helped us make the best songs we could. Jay also really understood the sounds we were after from the beginning, and it made the process really enjoyable.”
In terms of further new opportunities, the ‘Spring Forever’ album cycle will see the three-piece make their UK debut in the winter when they support Roam on their long-awaited headline tour. “We’re so stoked to be able to come over to the UK. People coming to the show can expect some huge smiles and a setlist with a bunch of album tracks and maybe some old ones too. We’ll make sure to have Roam show us where to get the best pint too.”
With a burgeoning album in ‘Spring Forever’, you can expect to hear and see plenty of Columbus in the coming months.
‘Spring Forever’ by Columbus is released on 26th August on UNFD.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)