Misty Lanes takes us track-by-track through new album ‘Colourless Green Ideas’

We’d had glimpses into the greatness that awaited us on Misty Lanes’ new album Colourless Green Ideas. 

Prior to its release today (March 8), Misty Lanes — the brainchild of Steven W. Schouten — treated us to singles like And Here We Are, The Glorious Ones, and Would You Believe?, offering morsels of brilliance yet to come on the sophomore album. 

Now, the remaining tracklist has arrived, delivering on Misty Lanes’ promise with an eclectic exploration of psychedelic rock, pop, folk, funk infused garage-rock, and basically everything in between.

Misty Lanes album 'Colourless Green Ideas'
Credit: Kat Harley

Colourless Green Ideas, the project’s first album since Misty Lanes’ 2017 self-titled debut, has touchstones in everyone from Billy Nicholls to The Bee Gees and The Kinks, with the result being altogether enrapturing. 

So expansive is the album that we simply had to catch up with Misty Lanes for a deep-dive into each entry. Below, Steve takes us on a track-by-track guide through each song on Colourless Green Ideas.

Misty Lanes album 'Colourless Green Ideas'
Credit: Kat Harley

Catch the full track breakdown below, and scroll down to listen to Misty Lanes’ new album.  


I’ve always loved albums that have an ‘introduction’ song that welcomes you into a record or sets the tone in some way.

Whether it’s a track with a long intro or, a stand-alone short Intro track; I think it makes a lot of records make sense as a whole piece of work rather than jumping headfirst into a fully-fledged song.

Deerhunter’s Cryptograms Intro has always been a reference for me. I love the way that record starts. 

This intro was an amalgamation of field recordings around where I live. The birds chirping were out the front of my house, I have no idea what kind of birds they are but I love their call and response whistling across the tress to one another.

The woozy saxophone is then a second field recording that caught my attention as I was walking past a school, I could hear a student practising with all the windows open while it seemed the other kids were all out for recess in the playground.

It was really chaotic and, for some reason caught my ear. I chopped up both recordings, found the best bits, overlaid them and re-amped the recording through some guitar pedals which made the sax sound reall woozy and mystical.

And Here We Are

My girlfriend and I were obsessed with the band Donna Blue when we first discovered them. The song Sunset Boulevard in particular really stood out and directly inspired this song. 

I played drums along to that track a few times to get that same attitude and swagger I wanted for my own song then took a 30-second loop of me playing and just spent the next few recording sessions trying different guitar and bass groves over the top until something felt right.

From there it was just a lot of improvising, re-recording and trying different things. It fun to put together; some songs you slave over and they still don’t seem right, this definitely wansn’t one of those and I think that comes across in the laid back grove.

The Glorious Ones

I’m not well versed in musicals so I’m really not sure how I stumbled upon this but The name The Glorious Ones is a musical by Lynn Ahrens set in 17th-century Italy about a theatre group in the world of ‘commedia dell’arte’ (Italian comedy) in the time of the Italian Renaissance.

Honestly, I know nothing about the play but I remember listening to a song taken from it called ‘I was here’. There was a line early on that really stood out; ‘King’s are building tombs for the ages while poets and fools fill their pages’. 

I kept that in my notes for a long time and would often come across it and think about what that meant to me.

Eventually I’d come up with another line to follow of my own that made sense to me ‘both are hoping they last to give the future its past, forever never satisfied with their pennies and dimes’.

I took the idea that the poets and the kings in this story aren’t that different from one another, both are working on what’s important to them, both are creating something that will hopefully outlast their lifetime and be a work to be remembered.

I liked the idea that no matter what your pursuit in life is, pretty much everyone has the same end goal in mind. 

The ‘never satisfied with their pennies and dimes’ line I though was kind of funny in this context highlighting the notion of the artist never satisfied with money, rather in the pursuit of creativity, where the stereostye of the kings with multitudes of wealth and never being satisfied.

Get Down

There’s no hiding it, I just wanted to write a song like The Kinks. One thing I really love about their music is the cheekiness of the lyrics so this was a lot of fun to write, although, more challenging than I thought it would be.

The instrumentation for this style comes quite naturally, however, I’ve always struggled to write lyrics that are really direct like The Kinks so setting out this as a challenge was a good exercise to get away from the more ambiguous way I would normally write.

Would You Believe?

I guess this is a tase of the direction I want to take the next record a little more in terms of the instrumentation.

I love the baroque sunshine pop of the sixties, pretty much everything Curt Boettcher touched in my mind is gold so this is a homage to him and his production style; I hope I didn’t butcher it too much.

This also might be the first song I’ve completely written on piano! I recent bought a reissue of the mellotron so expect the next record to be full of that.


Unanimism was a movement in French Literature in the early 1900’s that explored the idea of their being a ‘communal spirit’ or ‘joint psychic life’. 

I like this idea when you apply it to music. There’s something really special about jamming as a band. Going off instinct and feel from the energy you get from each other in a room or on stage with only a vague map. 

To me being in a band really tests this idea and seeing as Misty Lanes is primarily a solo reocrding project, I thought it was a fitting title for an instrumental jam in the middle of the record that I was trying to make sound like a full band jamming together. 

The drumming in ‘Chemtrails’ by Beck was the initial inspiration for how I wanted this song to feel. I can’t drum like Joey Waronker, no one can, but I wanted to make a song of my own that almost made me feel like I could. 

The Body Electric (Rise/Fall)

I think there’s always a place for an album track that throws the listener. I love ‘experimental’ albums and artists, like The Curtains and Tim Presley’s ‘W-X’.

Theres a naive, quirky and, for the most part, challenging quality to these records; though, for a music nerd, that stuff is gold! 

This track isn’t quite as quirky as either of those projects but they are a good point of reference for what I kind of had in mind.

I approached the idea knowing I’d use the most childish of instruments; A clean untuned electric guitar and a casio SK-5 through a cheap tape echo.

In The Dark

This was actually the first song I wrote for the album. A few other songs were floating around earlier but this one I recall going in with the intention of making it an album song.

Again, I’m going to throw more references around because that’s usually what inspires the beginning of  a song for me, after that, it’s all instinct and following that inspiration trail.

So, I think I was listening to a lot of The Clean and Beachwood Sparks at the time which made me want to write a jangly pop tune a little less 60’s driven, but still quite derivative. The lyrics came after reading ‘Dance Dance Dance’ by Haruki Murakami.

There’s a few parts that I recall of the main character wandering around the newly renovated The Dolphin Hotel and him having these feelings that something or someone is following him around and he’s quite weary of shaddows and just always has a sense of uneasiness.

That uneasiness around darkness and shaddows I can relate to from childhood and I think most people can. Sometimes that feeling comes on now as an adult and it gives me crazy dejevu.

A Guardian Angel Makes A Small Breakfast

My girlfriend and I always sing silly made-up songs to one another when we’re cooking or even when we just walk into a room. I’m sure we’re not the only couple that do those kinds of things hahaha.

I wanted to make an actual song that celebrated that really childish way couples sing to one another when no one else is around.

I also had in mind an artwork by the German painter Paul Klee called ‘A Guardian Angel Serves a Small Breakfast’. It’s a beautiful and simple work I’ve always really adored and again, a little childish in its nature.

So with those two inspirations in mind, the song blossomed from there. This was written, last for the album, so the cheekiness that I’d learnt from writing ‘Get Down’ trying to be like The Kinks, made this track really fun to record.

The vocals were funny on this one. It sounded awful the regular way I’d normally record Misty Lanes vocals; double-tracked, distorted, reverb and slap delay, all in very liberal quantities.

So instead I took the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young approach and pretended I was all 4 of them and layed vocal after vocal, always singing it slightly differently to try and make it sound like someone else singing.

I think it worked out much better in the end, and something new for me. 

Metronome Heart

This might be the first and only  ‘break up song’ I’ve ever written. I wrote this way before the first record even came out, and I never intended it to be released or show anyone.

I think enough time has passed and it feels distant enough now that I can listen to it with a different ear.

I really liked it at the time I wrote it, I remember thinking ‘I didn’t realise i could write like that’, but at the time, it felt way to obvious, I couldn’t show anyone, so I left it for years. 

When it came time to choosing songs for this album i found this session and it immediately took me back to that time, which, my own songs don’t always do.

I took that as a sign to include it on the album. I didn’t touch the recording from that demo, I don’t think I could have, but maybe one day it’d be nice to record it properly.

The Healing Door

This was probably written around the same time as Metronome Heart. It was an old phone recording. I remember coming home after having a few beers and writing it almost entirely in one go.

Usually those types of songs in my phone memos will have titles like:

– ‘Healing Door Verse 1’ 

– ‘Healing Door – Maybe Chorus’ 

– ‘Healing Door – V3’

– Healing Door – Almost Finished’

– ‘Healing Door – Good Chorus 2’

If you’re a musician you’ll know what I’m talking about. But with this there was one versing ‘The Healing Door’ start to finish, no versions, no other recordings around that time that sounded anything like it.

That doesn’t happen to often, or really at all so I felt like that was one to leave as a one take, one recording song and I think it rounds out the album nicely having an acoustic song that almost feel like a bonus track at the end.

I miss in the early 2000’s when you’d have secret songs on CD’s like on QOTSA Rated R, about 14 minutes of silence then you’d get him with their cover of the Kinks everybodys gonna be happy, what an awesome time in music. Maybe that what should have happened to this song?