Tirzah Colourgrade Domino
If Tirzah’s cult classic debut Devotion was a late-night album, thick with meandering thoughts and whispered confessions, then Colourgrade is the morning light: sharp, intentional, with greater clarity in its movements. Written while Tirzah Mastin and her close collaborators Mica Levi and Coby Sey were busy with the success of that first record, just after the birth of the Londoner’s first child – but before the birth of her second child, and the onset of the pandemic – Colourgrade captures a time after everything changed, before everything changed again. No wonder it feels so rooted in the present.
Tirzah’s understated voice remains spine-tinglingly intimate, delivered so close to your ear it’s almost ASMR, but her cyclical lyrics feel like mantras, heavy with purpose. “My baby, ooh she’s sleeping tonight” she croons on Sleeping, before repeating it, muttering under her breath.
Levi’s soundscapes are blunter this time, sometimes harsh. The hummed melody on Tectonic feels jarringly human against thick drones and glassy snares. Recipe, a tender promise of vulnerability (“I will give you, every memory, every dream… every recipe”), has frosty static and a stumbling bassline that sticks like a lump in the throat. Even the gentle acoustic guitar on the gorgeous ballad Send Me swings between sensations of comfort and alienation. But Colourgrade, like Devotion, is deeply romantic. Hive Mind, a sing-song duet between Tirzah and Sey, feels like the album’s title track in spirit: a quest for the warmth of connection in an eerie, barren world.