“One man’s limo is another man’s hearse.” So sings Colour Revolt’s Jesse Coppenbarger on “8 Years,” the track that kicks off the band’s new album, “The Cradle.”
“8 Years” tells the brief but busy history of Colour Revolt, a band that has been everything from a five-piece indie rock Next Big Thing to a two-piece phoenix rising.
Colour Revolt, formerly of Oxford and now of Jackson, may have undergone some major changes, but the band’s unique, moody indie rock sound is still at its core.
Colour Revolt’s debut record, “Plunder, Beg and Curse,” released in 2008, made the band indie rock’s dearest darlings. After a year of relentless touring, two members, Jimmy Cajoleas and Patrick Addison, left the band.
“(Cajoleas) had been my best friend since driver’s ed, so mostly it was just disbelief of losing the guy that had been there throughout it all,” Coppenbarger said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal.
After parting ways with label Fat Possum, drummer Len Clark took leave as well, leaving Coppenbarger and Sean Kirkpatrick as the remaining members.
“We were left with 40 demos and no label,” Coppenbarger said.
Determined to keep Colour Revolt alive, the pair worked on those demos and secured management. The group headed to North Carolina and, with a handful of musicians, tracked “The Cradle” live in just seven days.
While “Plunder, Beg and Curse” was full of surreal imagery and sounds, “The Cradle” is more straightforward, both lyrically and musically.
“Especially in ‘8 Years,’” Coppenbarger said. “I want people to know where we’re coming from as a band. … We expanded it a bit and made it more direct, addressing the listener more directly to grab them faster.”
Kirkpatrick and Coppenbarger are getting used to getting their hands dirty in the music business. Years ago, they’d let a record label or a booking agent handle album details and touring schedules; now, the duo is responsible for getting the album out and for handling its own tour.
“It’s obviously more work, but it’s more comforting at the end of the day,” Coppenbarger said, “as you have more control over what’s going on and who you’re talking to. It’s a good feeling.”
The band’s upcoming show at Proud Larry’s in Oxford will be the first Colour Revolt show in Oxford in more than a year.
Despite the rocky road Colour Revolt has tread, Coppenbarger is positive about the future.
“‘8 Years’ leads off (the album), saying, these are the things that have happened. I miss this person in this band, and I’ve lost something, but at the same time I’ve gained something. Things are different for people, and I’m in the same situation. For me, it’s, I’m still in Colour Revolt. I’m still trying to do this thing, but it’s a different thing,” Coppenbarger said. “It’s my limo; it was his hearse. You just have to take it for what it is and try to shape it into what you can.”
Check ‘em out live
Who: Colour Revolt, Pujols, Sleeping Bulls
When: 10 p.m. Aug. 26
Where: Proud Larry’s, Oxford
Info: proudlarrys.com or (662) 236-0050
Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal