Brisbane alternative punk band Columbus have today released their Next To Me EP; a five track collection of gentler acoustic sounds from the trio. The new song “Next To Me” stands alongside four reinterpretations of previously well-loved tracks from the guys. We had a listen to Next To Me and these are our thoughts on each of the tracks.
First on the EP and one we’ve already been loving is “Next To Me”. By way of sound, “Next To Me” slips from sweet and smooth commentary, into a harder, and more angst-laden territory. The lyrics romanticise the realness of a lover.. who just can’t stay because of their own pain.
“Your breath deep,
but inside your chest your heart weeps,
since the day that they left.
But you keep me dreaming,
when you’re thinking of leaving”
The track feels hurting and haunting in amongst the sweet alt punk sound. It’s also complemented by a playful music video in which Alex, Daniel and Ben get fashionable (on an op shop budget).
“Say What You Want” is the second track on Next To Me, bringing an acoustic version to the track from Columbus’ 2016 debut album Spring Forever. The band had also recorded a version with guest vocals by ROAM‘s Alex Costello and Like Pacific‘s Jordan Black. The gravelly and hectic resentment vibe is absent in this version, but the honesty and realness when it comes to moving on is still present. There’s tenderness in this acknowledgement of needing to hurt to heal.
“It’s easy to see with hindsight
I should have known better
I should have known
Everything heals with time
And I’ve wasted long enough with you
There’s nothing I can do
I’m better off with this scar tissue”
“Daffodil” at the third track, also from Spring Forever, also is wrapped in tenderness in the reinterpreted version, more than the weighty angst of the original. The lightness of sound along with heartfelt vocals put more attention on the sense of pulling away; removing yourself from someone you feel you’re harming. It feels heart-tearingly vulnerable with the ‘veil’ of fiery punk dropped down.
“Run my fingers through your hair
Watch you sleep right through my hands
I feel nothing lying there
If only you could understand
‘Cause I’m falling apart no matter how hard you hold me
Please, let me go
You’d be better without me”
Originally from the Home Remedy EP, “Downsides Of Being Honest” is best known for its spitfire pace and emo punk hecticness, pulling us on a wild journey of rejection, along with a roaring John Floreani at the bridge. But here on Next To Me we are drawn softly into something else, more vulnerable introspection and sweet remembrance, as opposed to self-frustration. It works so beautifully.
“I can hear my heartbeat, punch through the silence,
When I’m lying in bed with my headphones on
It’s probably all my fault that you’re gone”
And if you aren’t poked in the feels hearing the reinterpretation of the bridge of “Downsides..”, wait for the last track on the EP; “Raindrop”.
“Raindrop” was already stirring emotionally, but the acoustic version takes it to a whole other level of beauty. Alex Moses shines on this track, pouring out goosebump-inspiring vocals, along with the gentler sound which builds into a beautifully soaring sound.
“We’d lay under the tin roof rain and talk about the weather
And how we’ll escape overseas
Naive, thinking love just lasts forever”
Columbus have brought the goods with Next To Me, leaving each track feeling carefully crafted and heartfelt. The EP shows a tender side to the band’s sound, without any loss of power of meaning or emotion.
Aussie fans of Columbus can celebrate the EP release by heading along to shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, along with Dear Seattle. More details below: