Overcolor: Local band takes unique inspiration when writing songs

Lauren Pierret, News Editor

Panera’s pumpkin muffins, Nakalele Point, and Daisy Ridley. Three seemingly random nouns that local band Overcolor has created songs and stories about. As well as taking inspiration from the world around them, Overcolor utilizes color in their sound. 


What started as jam sessions between guitarists Nolen Stevens and Colin Lally morphed into a band. Soon after members Colin Lally and Nolen Stevens began to write music together. 


He asked me if I could help him with some songs he was writing for a film. After time and time again of making music, we decided to just start making music as a group,”  Overcolor guitarist and DGN alumni Lally said  “After meeting a bassist in our Guitar two class, she knew a drummer, Kyra. Together we got a good jam going and started the band,” 


After the band was fully formed each member found their unique role in the group. Stevens plays rhythm guitar, sings vocals, and mixes a lot of their songs. Lally composes and plays guitar portions of songs. McComb writes background vocals and plays percussion. McGinn writes lyrics, sings vocals, and plays bass guitar. 


Due to Stevens currently attending American University in Washington DC and Lally attending College of Dupage, their next move after the album’s release is uncertain. However, despite their geographical distance, they would like to attempt future projects. 


“We definitely all would love to continue making music together because it’s a really fun group,” Stevens said, “I think we’d like to keep working together, but we don’t know how or if that’s going to happen” 


While there is buzz amongst the band about potentially creating a music video in the future, the band’s current focus is on their self-titled album coming out Oct 1. The album features 12 original songs inspired by colors, personal stories, and “the high school experience”. 


Lyricist Mandy McGinn looks for inspiration everywhere. When writing, McGinn likes telling stories and finding beauty in the mundane; like her lyrical inspiration Taylor Swift. 


“‘Your Flannel Shirts’ is one of the songs that I wrote, and I just had a flannel shirt lying in my bedroom and decided to write a song about it. I love taking little things like that and then building lyrics off of it,” McGinn said. 


Along with taking inspiration from things such as flannel shirts, McGinn has also taken inspiration from Panera’s pumpkin muffins and the fictional character Daisy Buchanan, from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. 


“I find a lot of the time that random moments are when I get good lyrics for songs,” McGinn said. 


Along with out-of-the-box inspirations, Stevens brings different elements to the band’s lyrics.  In Overcolor’s songs with lyrics by Stevens, listeners can expect hidden meanings. 


“I really like, in my writing, to have things that mean one thing obviously, but when you really think about it, it means something else. I kind of like to reward people for listening multiple times and picking up on those little details,” Stevens Said 


Not only are hidden details an important part of Overcolor’s songs, but their band name as well. 

The “over” part of the name comes from the word overtone, which means to have an ulterior meaning. While the “color” comes from the band’s shared chromesthesia, which is the neurological state in which an individual with this gift can see color in response to non-visual stimuli such as music. 


“I thought it was really neat finding out that most of us have it. I think it helps us a lot in our writing processes because what we write includes the colors we enjoy hearing, which really speaks to us,” McComb said. 


This unique way of seeing not only music, but the world has Overcolor fans buzzing about their debut album. Overcolor fan, senior Marin Koch is excited to see how the band’s chemistry and talents blend together in their newest work. 


There’s an incredible charm they hold in that everything is done by those four people,” Koch said “typically, the music you hear is passed through a major recording studio, produced by masters of the craft, and cut down to fit what the label will approve of. Overcolor is very real and everything you hear is straight from the four members,”


Overcolor’s self-titled, debut album will be available to be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, and Youtube Music Oct 1.