The title of Colleen Green’s new album I Wanna Grow Up is fitting considering she’s outgrown her DIY roots. Her early music, made without collaborators, still benefited from all the instruments of a full band. Early songs were all about the tink-tink-tink of the drum machine, her backing singers simply layers of her own vocals. Technology was the only bandmate Colleen Green needed. Or at least it was, until she recorded and instead recorded this album in a studio, with IRL bandmates in her collaborates Jake Orral (from JEff the Brotherhood) and Casey Weissbuch (from Diarrhea Planet). The sound has grown accordingly. On her first tape, “Milo goes to Compton”, she sang love songs through a deep layer of hissing feedback, but on “I Want to Grow Up” her voice is crystal clear and darkly introspective, aided by the sound of added guitars and live drums. The larger list of tools to work with proves colleen room to cover more ground stylistically and emotionally, making the album a self-portrait of Green and other antisocial stoners everywhere.
The title track is by far my favorite, eerily describing my plight as recent college grad. During the song’s bridge Colleen sings “I’m sick of wondering what’s going to be become my life. And I’m tired of having no control. I’ve had my fun. I wanna be old” at the top of her register, right before the song climaxes with a shredding guitar solo. It’s a moment that captures the millennial frustration of wanting all the comforts of “adulthood” but having no idea how to get there.
Green suspects it might have something to do with her drug habits. If you didn’t get the reference in her name, her twitter handle is @colleengreen420. Weed is her main squeeze, and it colors much of her experiences.
Part One of “Things that are Bad For Me” tackles this habit head on, cheerfully comparing herself to “a pet that’s trained to return, but humans are supposed to learn” and later coming to the conclusion that “I just gotta stop doing things that are bad for me.” So simple, and applicable to all sorts of self-destructive behaviors! On the next song, Green find out how difficult this is. ” anxiety makes me do things that I know are bad for me” she sings darkly before the track erupts into another noisy guitar solo from Orral.
Despite her weed habit ( or perhaps because of it) Colleen can be upbeat about her slackerdum. When she sings “apologies” on lead single Pay Attention, you get the sense from the major chord-chug of the guitars that she’s moving one whether you accept her apology or not. If you gave it, she probably wasn’t paying attention, instead enjoying her favorite television shows. For Green, the tube is a place “where I don’t have to worry about conversation and I don’t have to worry about being fine.”
Like most millennials, Colleen prefers binge watching to human connection. On “Deeper than Love” The drum machine makes a sinister return, making the song sound as cramped and foreboding as colleen’s lyrics: “I’m scared, afraid of real intimacy, the kind that happens psychologically.” It’s the darkest moment on the album,
Throughout it’s highs and lows, I Want to Grow Up provides enough textures and topics to keep your interests no matter how stoned you get. I look forward to walking around in the springtime (please be soon NYC) with this as my soundtrack. In the meantime I’ll be watching her video for “TV” nice and warm in my apartment. The video dropped today via Entertainment Weekly, and features Green re-imagining her fave TV shows alongside Girlpool, Slutever, and members of other LA rock bands. I Want To Grow Up comes out tomorrow on Hardley Art.