Hailing from Hartford, CT, the Singer/Songwriter, and Guitarist Coleus releases a coming of age single surrounding the years he's stayed hidden with, "Strangers."
Stating that writing music has always been a form of therapy, Coleus is diving headfirst towards his mission of providing a safe space for listeners to feel his heartfelt stories and relate with them. Whether he's solo or with his full band, one is bound to be captivated by the likes of Coleus.
With his latest single, "Strangers," Coleus mentioned that the song surrounds themes of living as one's true and authentic self after many years of comparing oneself to others. The song's natural warmth and playfulness allow listeners to groove away and forget their woes while staying fully engaged with Coleus' relatable lyricism regarding a massive inner shift.
"Strangers" opens with bright electric guitar chords and upbeat percussion patterns awaiting the appearance of Coleus' vocals. Once he begins to sing with his tender and soft vocals, Coleus slowly increases the energy within his voice to match the song's lively instrumentals.
Listening to his lyrical message, Coleus sings a powerful story of basking in his inner glory and ditching the old comparative mindset while living for himself and no one else. The instrumentals continue to groove with bright electric guitar melodies, punchy percussion breaks, and sweet bass licks, which offer the song a naturally uplifting atmosphere that perfectly matches Coleus' reflective lyricism.
We're very appreciative of an optimistic single like "Strangers," as Coleus goes incredibly deep and analyzes his past self while reminding listeners to stand firm in their authentic and unique power.
Could you describe the moment you felt compelled to create a song surrounding the need to embrace one's authentic self, leading you to your single "Strangers?"
I wrote the lyrics to this song in a parking garage in Hartford, CT right after seeing a Josh Ritter show. I was very inspired by his individualism and uniqueness in his songwriting. I realized that being true to myself was a feeling and that I wanted to follow that feeling in my artform. I knew that it was time for me to devote myself to my music, to go after my sound. “I made a deal with myself.”
Seeing as you're a guitarist as well, how did you formulate your instrumentals within "Strangers" to offer such warmth? What did your creative process look like regarding the song's entire instrumentation?
I sat down one day and came up with that intro guitar line. Then I went back to those lyrics from the parking garage cause I knew they fit the vibe I was going for. After playing the song on a lot of solo gigs, I sent a demo to my band to hear how they interpreted it. I knew I wanted to leave a bunch of space throughout the verses, and let the bass and vocals set the tone. We then played it at some shows and it felt great to me. My producer Dave Swanson (Legend Studios) helped a lot with the guitar sound, specifically on the chorus. He recommended we lay down some percussive acoustic guitars to bulk up the chords. After being in the studio with the song, I felt a connection with George Michael’s “Faith”. I was fascinated by the instrumentation on that album and song specifically, which inspired me to add that clapping rhythm over the intro. I think that’s about it in a nutshell…not too much work when I write it in a paragraph of course. haha.
When writing your lyrics for "Strangers," how did you write your lyrics to tell your story, while also offering listeners a 'safe space' that you strive to deliver?
Well, I mostly strive to write songs that are true to me and my life. This song was a reflection of my teenage years in particular. I wrote them in a way of talking to myself while also talking to the listener. “Don’t you see, I’ve been hiding, playing myself for a mannequin, I’ve been wearing all black in the dark.” My teenage years were very potent relating to the theme of this song. I knew that I wanted to be a professional musician, an original artist to be exact but I was terrified of stepping out, being seen. I was used to hiding, blending in with the crowd. As a shy and insecure kid, I used to fantasize about being other people, thinking that I wasn’t good enough. At the end of the day, the ‘safe space’ is not really a conscious thing when I write my songs. I just know that songs were and are some of my best friends throughout life, always giving me a safe outlet. If I can do that for somebody else, that is a powerful thing for me. When I think of “Strangers”, it is a light at the end of the tunnel for that teenage version of myself. A song that reminds me that life has only gotten better with age because I’ve only become more confident in who I am.
We've noticed that you have two singles released, being "Raining" and "Strangers." How do these two tracks help listeners get to know you better? Do the single's offer any similarities between them?
Well, I would hope they let you in on getting to know me, whether that is personally or musically. “Raining” is a song that means a lot to me, in expressing the journey I’ve been on with my wife. Now that I think of it, it’s another song that feels like a light at the end of a tunnel. My wife and I have been together for over 10 years and struggled like hell to commit to each other for the first 3 of those years. We were doing our own things in life, rightfully so, and met each other at an unexpected time, 3 months before I was moving across the country. Summer of love, so to speak, the cliché! We’ve met a bunch of different versions of ourselves over the years, individually and as a collective. The two songs share the thread of evolving in a relationship over time, whether with myself or someone else.
What can listeners anticipate to hear next from you?
I have my self-titled debut EP coming in mid-January 2021! When the EP drops, you will hear two totally different songs about my life, along with hearing these two singles in context. These other two songs are some of my favorites and I am thrilled for them to be born. I plan on dropping another single after that and I also want to release a cover or two. I love interpreting other peoples’ music, so I definitely want to let people in on that realm as well. Stay tuned.