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San Antonio, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Art Rock




"Colleens Album Review"

For a self-produced, self-released debut, Wild Dreams is a record that blows away initial expectations. However, the deeper you dig into Colleens' background the easier it is to understand why this band has gotten so damn good so damn quickly. Jonathan and Joshua Harter lie at the heart of Colleens, two brothers raised in San Antonio, Texas that were surrounded by music since a young age. They've since began working in their father's record studio as recording engineers, and when you combine their practical knowledge with their years of experience, it's only natural for Wild Dreams to sound as crisp and polished as it is.

Wild Dreams glides along and clocks in at just around 30 minutes, but it's the perfect amount of time to digest these blissful bursts of subdued Americana energy. Warm basslines help these songs trot along with a downtempo pace, rich organs flesh out the textures and soothing vocal melodies with rich lyrical content top it all of brilliantly. The album starts off with a smooth-sailing track "About You," tightly packed with sparse guitar lines, subtle harmonies and contemplative lyrics that sucks the listener in like a rising tide. Following that natural ebb and flow, the album's mood is set by an excellent pacing that spaces out the catchy and anthemic tracks while nestling the slow-brooding experimental tracks in between.

It'd be easy to write Wild Dreams off as your standard Americana leaning pop record, but there's much more to it than that. "No Flowers" sets a darker and more expansive tone, dreamy dark vocals croon about "endless pillows" and rich, yet desolate imagery over a simplistic yet embellished soundscape. "No Flowers" displays the artistic breadth of Colleens, soft strings build upon the heightened tensions while a quaintly finger picked guitar provides the baseline for this fantastic mid-way track. As "No Flowers" slowly fades out you're snapped out of your trance and thrust into the rambling "Sun Before I Set," one of the album's bright songs characterized by bouncy piano lines, distorted guitars and a chorus of backing vocals.

There's a lot to love about Wild Dreams, and while there's nothing that sets the band out as groundbreaking, there's a lot of potential for the band to truly move into uncharted territory in future releases. There's a lot of prominent influences on display here that are masked by the Harter brother's obvious talents and originality, but some of the album feels plagued by comfort. It's a fun and easy listen through, especially given its short duration, but there's not a ton of replay value found within most of the tracks. Tracks like "About You," "Maybe We'll Fall In Love," "No Flowers" and "Second Century Home" lend themselves to multiple run throughs and seem to have tons of live potential, but the remainder of the album tends to feel like filler. There's nothing wrong with the tracks, but there's nothing really stopping you from skipping them to get to the more exciting endeavors. All in all Wild Dreams is a wonderful entrance from Colleens and leaves me waiting anxiously for future releases. - MYXEM

"Colleens Album Review"

Colleens debut album understandably sounds polished and professional. Josh and Jon Harter’s father Keith, a composer, owns San Antonio-based KHM Studios where the brothers work as recording engineers and producers which gives them an inside edge into music production and sound.They’ve been working in the business and know what works and what doesn’t. Fantastic musicianship immediately stands out on “About You.” The album’s brimming with clear, crisp guitar chords, bass lines, soothing vocals and harmonizing. I’m a goner for soothing vocals and alt-folk/ Americana bands with a bunch of bearded dudes. Lovely melodies on “Maybe We’ll Fall in Love.” When they break into wah-wah [“Do You Remember Love?”] and guitar blitzes you get why they’re tagged more psych-Americana and that’s cool. Colleens is also melodious, gentle with 60s and 70s classic pop-inspired flair like on the fantastic “Sun Before I Set.” Impressive 30-minute debut album. I’m looking forward to catching these guys live. - Entertainment Realm

"About You Video Premier"

To say that the lives of brothers Josh and Jon Harter revolve around music would be a huge understatement. They were raised in San Antonio, where their father, Keith, is a composer who owns the local KHM Studios. It was there, working day jobs as recording engineers and producers, that the brothers started crafting the songs that would inspire them to form Colleens.

With Josh handling vocals and guitar and Jon taking on the drums, the siblings brought in Deric Wynne (bass) and Jackson Floyd (guitar) to round out Colleens’ lineup. ‘Wild Dreams,’ the group’s debut album, finds them weaving a kind of psych-Americana blend that also brings to mind the sweetened power-pop of Teenage Fanclub and Jellyfish.

With ‘Wild Dreams’ hitting stores today (Feb. 4), brings you the exclusive video premiere of ‘About You,’ a track from the album.

“‘About You’ is a song about being comfortable with yourself. So we aimed to keep the vibe of that song as relaxed as we could — not lethargic, but cozy,’ Jon Harter tells “When we shot the video, we wanted to keep the performance organic. Instead of miming along to our album track, we decided to record it live. Hopefully some naturalness comes through for viewers.” - Diffuser.FM

"Indie-Music Artist Spotlight"

You know that phrase “there must be something in the water”? In this case, when I pressed play on Wild Dreams, the Colleens’ debut album, I thought, “there must be something in the gene pool.” Colleens are led by brother duo Josh and Jon Harter, two recording engineers/producers by day who work with their father at KHM Studios in San Antonio, Texas. Whether it’s the genes or the immersion in music production over the years, it really doesn’t matter; the combination of drummer Jon and songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Josh is one that’s working naturally in tandem.

“About You” opens the record with an easy-on-the-ears melody that smoothly weaves in nice underlying guitar texture, keys that blend into a layered background and Josh Harter’s incredibly engaging vocals. This slips easily into the next track. “Do You Remember Love?” which features a deft songwriting touch that bears some Americana and obvious Beatles-era pop influences. That song, in particular, takes a few unexpected turns adding string arrangements and employing the slide guitar in just the right places. It hits a sweet spot that continues naturally into “Maybe We’ll Fall in Love,” one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s a confident, wonderfully catchy rock tune a la Wilco that’s filled to the brim with fantastic guitar work and effective background vocal work.

The biggest departure comes right smack in the middle of the album, with the heavily psychedelic influence that rears up on “No Flowers.” It starts out in minimalistic fashion, with an eery kind of vocal delivery reminiscent of Pink Floyd (or a slightly less sparse Elliott Smith). The addition of a string arrangement builds some momentum, but again, this doesn’t head to a fever pitch into what would seem obvious. This sort of methodically meandering tune is followed up by the catchy and oh-so-sing-along-friendly “Sun Before I Set” and “Second Century Home.” The late ‘60s vibe is ever-present on all the tracks here, with the strongest compositions coming from that pop-rock wheelhouse.

There’s no arguing with the super clean, well-paced production of this record; it’s clearly a natural fit and progression for the Harters to successfully transition from behind the boards to producing their own work. And this most certainly adds dimension and depth to the song arrangements; their experience shows. But it truly is the songwriting, vocals and guitar work that shine on this album. It’s an exciting combination of influences that feels neither overproduced or underwhelming at any stage. Colleens are stepping out with a fresh sound that resonates with purpose and a touch of experimentation with Wild Dreams. The Harters are on to something; and I’m definitely listening. -

"Watch Out For Colleens"

In addition to the list of up-and-coming local albums, there’s another to keep an eye out for: Colleens’ Wild Dreams is a seven-song, 31-minute psych Americana/alt-pop feast that is, as they say, “all killer, no filler.” If you missed the tour kickoff show January 4 at 502, the band (Josh Harter on guitar and vocals, brother Jonon drums, Deric Wynne on bass and Jackson Floyd on guitar) will return to that venue to officially present their gorgeous-sounding debut on February 7. It’s not surprising the album sounds so lovely: the Harters are the sons of Keith Harter (owner of KHM studios, where the brothers work as engineers and producers) and Wynne helped cement 502’s sound. So write it down: Wild Dreams by Colleens is a local must have for 2014. - San Antonio Current

"Colleens - Wild Dreams"

Wild Dreams. Most people would hear those words and imagine being thrown into some strange and uncontrollable landscape. This is the debut LP of a San Antonio, Texas band, Colleens, and though principle songwriter Josh Harter is firmly in that mindset, he’s really talking about Her, of the wholly incomprehensible Her.

The album lives up to its title. The seven songs ebb and flow, regardless of tempo, and go by very quickly. That’s the point, maybe, as Wild Dreams is an easy and enjoyable double listen. Lyrically, though, every molecule of its universe is in flux and even solid ground floats away with indifference. The words are stuck, between past and future, between comprehension and confusion, yet words are where the answers lie and thus where this album lives.

“About You” opens the LP, full of Wilco-esque swing and doubt.
“Sometimes, I get a little lost when I’m walking in your shoes”
is as much an opening line to the song as it is a thesis statement for the LP. But, in the end, probably as expected, he both fails and surrenders,
“I don’t need to understand everything”.

“Do You Remember Love” swims in on a wave of Pink Floyd slide guitar, awash with vocals. Lyrically, are we confronted with healthy doubt or a guy tortured by the idea that he’s next on the kill list,
“Do you remember love?
That a mortal wound will take a man.
Clear the smoke, reload your gun.
Watch another one attempt to run. “

“Maybe We’ll Fall in Love” is a fairly upbeat song of resignation that love is out of his hands. I’m not generally a big fan of the half empty verse, but producer Jon Harter pulls it off. The second verse knits together a catchy guitar hook and noisy backing vocals to give the song a nice kick.

“No Flowers Grow Here” opens with finger-picked acoustic guitar. It’s a marvelously soft song, with lots of layers. Some really nice strings complement the melody, which evokes David Gilmour.

“Sun Before I Set”, like most of the album, has some really nice keyboards holding things together. At its musical heart, it’s a battle for the soul of Brian Wilson and Lennon/McCartney. Lyrically, it’s a new world man fighting for an old world woman,
“I conceal under long skin beauty.
A survivor whose soul could burst in flames.
You’re a lonesome dynasty
Distinguished in statue granite grace”

“2nd Century Home” is the great uptempo song, where I found as much enjoyment in the Ooh Ooh backing chorus as I did in my favorite lyric from the album,
“And the needle leaned in the records teeth
And it whispered words that dared my soul to sing.
So I sing”

Wild Dreams ends with the title track, which is a beautiful and dreamy. Again, the slide guitar and organ anchor it and a couple of perfect guitar solos tie the LP together.
“Your steps come and go like wild dreams
Floating off through the ceiling.
The two of us laugh
The two of us ruined
A single kiss”

At thirty minutes, Wild Dreams might’ve been an EP in years past, yet that’s a good LP length in these days of renewed vinyl sales and shortened attention spans. Still, I wouldn’t have been unhappy with a bit more. - No Mission Statement

"Pleased To Meet Me: Colleens"

This is the second time in a number of weeks that I’ve been introduced to a band from San Antonio that really excites me; this time the band is Colleens. Based on the few songs I’ve been given, they’re crafting this brooding pop that holds onto a sense of majesty that I don’t recall hearing recently. There’s light string arrangements in the background, while the main bit of instrumentation is careful guitar picking. The vocals have this smoky haze to them, reminding me of that great era of pop music that came out in the late 1960s. It’s interesting, to say the least, so I hope you’ll enjoy your introduction to the band; they’re full-length, Wild Dreams, will be out February 4th. - Austin Town Hall




Keeping it all in the family is ordinarily little more than a quaint sentiment for colloquial brotherhood. But for Josh and Jon Harter, and their psych-Americana quartet Colleens, the idea is about as literal as you can get. Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, the Harter brothers were surrounded by music. Their father, Keith, is a composer who owns KHM Studios in San Antonio, where Josh and Jon work day jobs as recording engineers and producers, and are treated to a daily deluge of spectrum-spanning sound palates by working musicians from across the country.

We speak the same dialect musically, says Jon of his brother Josh. Jon mans drums in Colleens, while Josh is the principle songwriter, as well as guitarist and vocalist. Weve got our own shorthand when it comes to playing songs. If were working something out in playing together, there are just a couple of words we have to say to each other and we know exactly what were gonna do. Its that weird unspoken thing.

Those unspoken cues have manifested themselves into Colleens debut LP, Wild Dreams, recorded and produced by the Harters themselves.

In the interims of their recording projects, the Harters quietly began to sow the seeds of Wild Dreams, utilizing the luxuries of having a commercial studio at their disposal. Through their work with various artists, the brothers began to establish creative affinities with the musicians employing KHM, eventually recruiting Deric Wynne (bass) and Jackson Floyd (guitar) into Colleens to flesh out Joshs compositions to more ornate plateaus.

It feels a little sinister looking back on it now, like Hey, who are the best guys from all these bands were working with? explains Jon. It just felt so natural working with some of these other guys and we had such similar tastes and perspective on making music and records in general. Josh and I are so in sync that it was of the utmost importance to have other guys to go to and say, Hey, are we crazy?

The result on Wild Dreams is a record that pays homage to the Harters influences, while pushing those traditions to exciting sonic terrain. Joshs songs operate within and around traditional pop songwriting structures, with an ear toward equally risky/rewarding instrumentation. The album opens with the easy-does-it rocker About You, Josh crooning, Sometimes I get a little lost when Im walking in your shoes over a thwumpy bass line, subtle guitar patterns and barely-there keys. The track serves as a crib sheet of sorts for the remainder of the record, a collection of heavy-lidded rock numbers that somehow sound classic already.

I do feel like this record falls into that 60s and 70s classic pop thing, says Jon. Our goal as a band is to not do just the same thing though. Were not afraid of wearing our influences on our sleeves, but its got to be subtle.
Do You Remember Love? is a natural extension of About You, reveling in a somber atmosphere of slide guitar, sunny melodies and humbling harmonies. Its in this song that one of Wild Dreams standout accoutrements first surfaces in the form of truly haunting string arrangements penned by the Harters father Keith which have the tendency to take the songs into fantastic fits of psychedelic mischief.

Nowhere is that psych underbelly more evident than on the Pink Floyd-esque No Flowers, an eerie tune that finds Joshs vocals meandering like a nightmare lullaby. Minimal acoustic guitar instrumentation soon swells to include huge strings and the feeling of an imminent invasion of sound that just as quickly fades away. Its a testament to the bands willingness for experimentation and the breadth of aural avenues theyre interested in exploring.
Colleens gets right to their Lennon-McCartney core, too, on catchy pop rockers like Sun Before I Set and Maybe Well Fall in Love. Second Century Home carries with it a dirty guitar lead that butts heads against an anthemic melody for the most upbeat song on the album.

Wild Dreams is a snapshot in time of where were at right now, concedes Jon. But Im sure well come up with another one pretty quickly.

Band Members