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Alex Moses Guitar/Vocals | Daniel Seymour Drums | Ben Paynter Bass/Vocals
“Sometimes when you’re close to someone, people change and things don’t always last. It can’t always be Spring forever.”
– Alex Moses
The bitter with the sweet, the rain after the sunshine. Earnest Brisbane trio Columbus know what it is to love just as they know what it is to lose, and on their charmingly evocative debut album Spring Forever they lay themselves bare for the world to see.
“It’s an album about love, getting older and coming to terms with losing someone at a time when you’re still learning things about yourself,” says guitarist & vocalist Alex Moses. “As I was writing the album, the references to seasons came very naturally – I sometimes feel like I have to fight through the cold, the winter and the hard times to get to the Spring.
“And Spring to me is a time when you can lie down next to someone staring into their eyes, smiling, complacent that everything will be okay.”
Columbus’ roots were laid in high school, when Moses would go round to drummer Daniel Seymour’s parents’ house and jam punk rock covers before they got home from work. They knew bassist & vocalist Ben Paynter from the school jazz band they were all in, and when he completed the line-up Columbus was solidified.
The band released debut EP Sad Songs And Sing-Alongs in 2013, followed by the breakthrough EP Home Remedy two years later. This led to international attention, culminating in press and radio attention from around the world and the band winning Best Newcomer and Best EP at the Blunt Magazine 2015 Readers’ Poll. 2016 opened with a performance on Unify’s mainstage which was soon followed by the band signing to UNFD and starting work on what would become their debut album.
Taking its cues from other classic power-punk trios’ albums, Spring Forever has a gorgeous simplicity to its melodies that hints at the darkness that is never far away. Produced by former Defeater sonic architect Jay Maas (Title Fight, State Champs, Polar Bear Club), it’s a mature, heartfelt collection of anthems-in-waiting. If there’s a hidden theme to Spring Forever it’s of wisdom reluctantly gained through those little trials that grow into battles within our heads.
All the songs on the album were born in the guitarist’s bedroom, plucked gently into life on his battered acoustic. But it’s not until they blossom into gloriously raucous punk rock thunderclaps thanks to the noise and shade provided by the rest of the band, even though they all retain a sweetly painful honesty.
“Some of the songs are very personal to me,” continues Moses. “I occasionally have difficulties being honest, as it’s easy to be self-conscious about what people might think of you. Nervous Wreck is an example of that, because it recounts falling out of love and losing trust for someone who you can’t help not forget, despite not being able to forgive them for how they’ve made you feel.
“And Learn to Swim is another song which comes from a quite personal place. It’s about trying to overcome low self-esteem and the negative voices in your head. We’re all guilty of feeling like we’re not good enough, or that we don’t deserve someone or something, and at times like these it’s easy to resent yourself.”
But whether it’s the stomping guitar solo in Stay, the shouted climax to the positively heroic Replace Me or Raindrop’s pounding rhythms, Spring Forever has a riotous sense of fun that is just as integral in Columbus’ DNA. If the songs grew from a place of sadness, they blossom into the world with a small smile that says it’s all been worth it.