Upon your first listen to Color Collage’s new single off its debut album, Pieced Together, you may be too distracted by the bright “doo-wops” blended with electronica to quite grasp the meaning behind its lyrics. Why yes, it’s a song inspired by death and personal tragedy, one that hit Color Collage’s master mixer, Shane Conerty, close to home.
“Inspired by [my] day job,” Conerty says in an email exchange, the song “Shareholder” refers to the aftermath of the (highly publicized) death of the owner of the Brooklyn restaurant that he has worked at for three years. (We won’t name names, but let’s say that it’s a name that rings many bells in the Brooklyn dining scene.) “The song is written from the perspective of one of the shareholders who came in and settled a lot the debt that was floating around,” he says. “It’s obviously slightly embellished for the sake of the song, and I tried to stay as neutral as possible because I don’t pretend to know what actually went down and why. It was just fascinating to me how it seemed that money and monetary gain took a precedent over a human life, and I wanted to express that in the song.”
Note the underlying hook: “It’s nothing personal.” “I used the hook … to convey that the shareholder character was just looking to grab cash, and everything else was insignificant,” he says, placing personal tragedy and greed side by side. Still, such morbid and deeply affected lyrics find a home within the melodies and chord progressions that transcend to 1950s and 60s pop.
Color Collage’s debut album, Pierced Together, will be released on August 7 on Paper Garden Records. Conerty will be playing a residency at Pete’s Candy Store every Wednesday during the month of August, starting at 10 p.m.