When you are a creator of stunning sonic soundscapes – it can be difficult to build on an already strong back catalogue without falling into the same patterns. Josey Marina, a musician alternating between Manchester and Brighton, has already gained much acclaim from earlier material, including the majestic Violet Desires EP. It’s refreshing to realise then, that her latest single ‘Queen of the Coloured Clouds’ takes a whole new resonant route of its own, with complex layering oozing the quality of closeness and contact. This a sensuous, stand-out piece of music, for sure.
Josey herself added: “On the surface QOTCC is a song about hedonistic intoxication at summer parties, inspired by my own experiences and memories of Manchester. However, more importantly, it is also about same-sex love (or perhaps lust in this case ha..) – an embodiment of my own sexuality which feels particularly significant within the context of increasing LGBTQ+ representation in society and the #20gayteen movement in pop culture. I’m super excited to continue exploring this theme musically, both as a personal embrace of my identity and as a political action in a world where we must continue to fight for equality.“
The track opens with tactile textures – a fast, frenetic rhythm with a hand-clapped quality; clear capability to easily incense the listener early on. Mellow, moving keys then add to the mix, allowing themes of coupledom, night-time and dawn-kissed bliss to billow out.
Exploring new creativity and cadence in her vocal range, Marina’s voice then eases in with particular pacing: “She won’t dance with me/ But I’ve got her on her feet.” Each individual word is crafted and stressed with its own cadence, underlining the artist’s intent to make moving, meaningful music.
The title line turns the sound to a surging, almost celebratory burst, “Because she’s the queen of the coloured clouds” – expressed at first in a single, soaring sentence. For a particular point about this track, is its ability to accumulate evocative layering… like a summer night gets closer and closer. The lyrical trill of “All night all night till we see the morning light” seems particularly apt then, as keys and instrumentation build; followed by two triumphant repetitions of the chorus.
But this is not just a track charting the progression of intimacy, it has more to it than that: a raw edge which adds a sense of realness, rather than just complete blissful abandon. And I appreciate the mix. The plashes of keys along with “Baby you’ve seen the size of my eyes,” shimmer into a kind of fuzzy jam. It adds to the sense of feeling and touch, yet hinting at something untamed too.
Reflecting on the complexity of intimacy, the intrigue of summer nights and the capability of tracks to tantalize us – all ignited by the ‘Queen of the Coloured Clouds.’ This is especially the case as the chorus builds for a final time before oozing out with almost organ-like progression. Proof that Marina is building on her strengths, but also exposing new angles for listener empathy.
For a night you won’t forget – this is an interesting, intimate piece – and a very welcome antidote to endless tracks of manufactured ‘big sound’ and bravado. Give the ‘Queen of the Coloured Clouds’ some ear-time.
‘Queen of the Coloured Clouds’ is out now – available to purchase direct at Bandcamp.
Photo Credit: Kristina Kashtanova