Meet Color Shy, the duo of Nick Fiori and Nooria Lawrence, based out of Boone, North Carolina. Recently, Color Shy released their debut EP, Strife of the Party.
Both Nick and Nooria are 21 and currently attend Appalachian State, where they met. They are also both North Carolina natives, with Nick hailing from Charlotte and Nooria from Winston-Salem.
The two met at a party, through mutual friends, until they became friends themselves. Eventually, Nick went to Nooria with the idea of creating an EP. "From there," Nooria told me via email, "we just started meeting up when we could, trying out a bunch of different stuff, throwing in whatever sounded cool and really getting into it. The sessions were always fun and not too tense, making the process easy. Our writing process is basically just us writing apart and showing each other whatever we feel is worth sharing. We've gotten a lot more cohesive with each other's writing, which is cool. Sometimes we'll say stupid stuff and say to each other 'that should be a song.'"
Nick echoed this sentiment, and he added that there was also a learning curve. He said, "The writing and recording began with both of us having no idea what to do. We ended up deciding that nothing would get done unless we sort of just started throwing everything at the computer and seeing what stuck."
Strife of the Party was the result of these writing sessions, and it's damn good. The five-track indie pop project mediates on relationships, romantic or not. The songs are mellow, filled out by bright and catchy guitar lines and Nooria's equally bright and gentle vocals. There's both lyrical specificity and relatability throughout, weaving in images of house parties and tender reflections.
"Text Ur Ex" opens up the EP with the most up-tempo track of the bunch, playing out a self-aware story of reaching out to one's ex for validation, while also acknowledging the tangle of emotions that come with texting one's ex: loneliness, emptiness, apathy, and ultimately, longing.
"Light Leak" is another favorite of mine and also was the lead single. The song describes an encounter with an ex at a party that was broken up by the police; "Everything has a moment when it happens for the last time," sings Nooria in the hook. Then there is "I Am Hosting a Party," which carries a soft sadness, offering a lens into a complicated relationship ("I say you don't need to do hard drugs every time you get sad/ You say I don't need to worry about you anymore").
Strife of the Party offers cohesive musings, with songs that are at times danceable, and in other moments, feel floating. Listen below.