Colour Code
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Colour Code

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Colour Code - Demo (Review)"

Right out of the gates, Colour Code made a serious impact on Charlottetown’s music scene.

Taking first place at a battle of the bands competition in their very first live show, Colour Code not only earned a spot at the 2011 ECMA Next Wave Showcase, but they also earned themselves a demo recording and a music video (check it out here).

Recorded and released in early 2012, the demo is a five-song effort - and a perfect introduction to the Charlottetown five-piece. The folk-pop quintet’s debut release is chock-full of danceable melodies, featuring flawless harmonies and hooky vocals that you’ll find yourself wanting to sing along to before you even learn the lyrics.

As far as instrumentation goes, you can expect the standard array of acoustic and electric guitars, drums, and keys, but the band pulls some punches with the addition of upright bass, violin, glockenspiel, and a crowd-favourite in the keytar. Factor in the band’s signature back-and-forth between male and female vocalists, and you’re left with the total sound package that has been unwrapped and enjoyed by countless crowds across the Maritimes.

With a focus on bringing their sound to new audiences, one can only hope that the imminent demand for new material puts one of Charlottetown’s best bands back in the studio for a fresh release. Colour Code’s debut is indicative of the hard work that has taken it from its first show to an established East Coast band in less than a year.

Parting Words: While the demo features only five songs, the band’s arsenal is always growing. Putting on one of the most fun and energetic live shows around, Colour Code shows seldom end without a frenzy of crowd dancing and singing. Check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Download Colour Code’s debut here.
Catch the band live this Saturday at Fishbones. - The Cadre (Ryan Merry)

"New Kids on the Block"

The music of choice takes a turn as we move to Colour Code. This pop-rock band fell together with Sam Rayner on guitar and vocals, Emilee Sorrey on guitar and vocals, Jon Millington on bass, Morgan Wagner on violin and keyboard, and Mitchell Gallant on drums. The band broke out onto the Island music scene after winning a battle of the bands competition in 2011. The band plays both original music and covers, while drawing influence from many different outlets, from rock to electronic and everything in-between. Colour Code has put in a lot of hard work over the last few years and it shows. They were nominated for a Music PEI Award this past February and are showcasing their work on and off Island, including larger events such as the NXNE Festival in Toronto. It’s clear this small town band is headed for big places. - G! Magazine

"Colour Code"

While most new bands spend months or years writing, practicing and fighting in their parents’ basements, Colour Code was already in the running for an ECMA showcase before all the members had even met. Last spring, after having written a few songs, singer and guitar player Emilee Sorrey sent fellow singer and guitar player Sam Rayner a link to a competition in which the winner would win an ECMA showcase. With the deadline a week away, Sorrey was disappointed there wouldn’t be enough time. “Sam put his Superman cape on and was like ‘Nothing’s impossible!’” explains Sorrey.

Very quickly the band recorded a video as their entry and hustled their members together. The day of the video shoot was the first time Sorrey had ever played with violinist Morgan Wagner. Practicing during exam period paid off and the band won the showcase, making their second live show at the ECMAs. Sorrey credits competition with the band’s quick evolution. “That’s why we ended up writing so much.” Soon after they had an opening gig at Hunter’s. “It’s been a really hectic summer, just cause we hadn’t expected it to move so quickly and it did,” says upright and electric bassist Jonathan Millington. The band also spent the summer adjusting to new drummers, settling into their third, Mitchell Gallant, this fall.

Instead of one lead vocalist, Colour Code blends both Rayner and Sorrey’s voices. “The idea was more to just make it interesting, so it wasn’t just a consistent flow of one male singing or one woman singing—it’s a mixture,” says Rayner. Their songs often sound like a back and forth conversation between two people, drawing comparisons to Montreal band Stars. Rayner says he has an obsession with strings and sought out Wagner, who has been playing classical violin for twelve years, to join. They also have trumpet and trombone parts written for friends who play with the band whenever they can.

Although none of them were friends when the band started, Sorrey says they didn’t really have choice and they’re like family now. “We were in the basement for hours on end a day, for like two weeks,” she says. Rayner says he likes it better that way. “Business is business and you get it done and then you kind of form the friendship around that.” For now Colour Code’s trying to take it easy and write more, while also recording the six-song EP they won from the competition. - Talking Bands, The Buzz

"Colour Code NXNE preview: You won't be going home after their set"

Colour Code (Thursday June 13 / 11pm The Central)

Sam Rayner, Emilee Sorrrey, Jon Milligton, Morgan Wagner, and Mitch Gallant make up the 5 piece indie pop band from Charlottetown. Two of the band have attended Toronto's NXNE festival last year and "It was a ball. They (the entire band) are super stoked (and surprised) to get in this year."

Emilee took the time to chat with about their upcoming mid-June NXNE showcase at the Central in Toronto's Annex.

NXNE: Was last year a chance to listen or meet other musicians or both? And are you hoping for the same?

It was a chance to see how the music scene, venues and bands both included, operates in a different city, and on a larger scale like NXNE. Here in Charlottetown we play the same 3 bars over and over, and when we go off island it's just over to Halifax, Fredericton, etc, which boast a similar layout. So Toronto was really neat to jet all over and catch the many different sights and sounds.

We didn't really meet to many musicians as we hopped to so many shows one after another.

There are certainly lots of Toronto musicians I know who want to or do tour east. What can they expect if they make it all the way to Charlottetown? Only 3 bars to play?

It's small but mighty. There is a large body of music (especially of the 'indie' variety) here in Charlottetown. That being said when you come through it can be hard to get a band on you bill. I think it can be a hard sell as an away band here. My suggestion would be to ask around to see if you can get on as an opener for a local who brings a good crowd out. Also there is almost no use in playing before Thursday. The summer is a bit different, but generally falls into the same pattern.

And get used to playing late, our sets don't start until after midnight usually.

Are there house concerts there?

Yeah- my favourite show we've ever played was at a house show on Agricola St. in Halifax. The place is a hippie house now, and Ben Caplan's sometimes home. It had a shabby outdoor stage but we played in the living room to throngs of people. Best crowd, best night. There is a good DIY house crowd scene more so in Halifax, it's dying a bit in Charlottetown but you can still set one up if you try hard.

Going to the different cities you have, are you finding audiences are of different types? different appreciation for (your) music?

Oh for sure! it's funny to see the different crowds.. I find each bar has it's own little thing going on. I really enjoy playing the Capital in Fredericton, NB. It's an artsy university town and the folks there come out early and stand by your set the whole night. They seem really appreciative of the bands that come through. Then sometimes you book shows that really aren't your jam.. but it's all in the experience.

I'm so curious to see what Toronto will bring out..

Can you spot an out-of-towner catching music where you're playing (say a Torontonian)?

Haha yeah, I think so. But that being said, I think I could catch a Torontonian on any given day in Charlottetown. It's that small.

Must be the accents.

Haha and a keen eye

We all talk like Peter Mansbridge.

I lived with many Ontario folk over the summers away, my eastern accent is now a melted blend of Ontario ones. But all it takes is a few cliche east coast brews to bring it back.

Let's talk about music out in PEI. There's certainly, in the east coast, an east coast sound, for lack of a better term. How prevalent is that in PEI? And where do you fit in?

PEI is I think a bit behind the times, in the nicest way possible. Basically I think trends hit us here less. So in my opinion, the music is less trendy and more genuine. We still have trends I guess within the Island. You'll always have your large folk community here, there's like a bajillion folk festivals here in the summer. That aside, the indie-rock scene is bumpin'. We fit in nicely, and I think people were really excited for a new band when we came along. There is almost royalty amongst musicians here, bands like Two Hours Traffic and Paper Lions, then you have your successful staples like North Lakes and English Words, and now a new crop of bands like us and Coyote who are all doing well in the same genre.

for a Toronto audience, who've never heard you (non PEI types), what can you say about the band that would get them to fill some seats and share a beer with you.

I guess I would want to stress that we aren't a run of the mill trendy band.. our sound is totally original, and our new album (produced by Colin Buchanan - Paper Lions) has a super cool sound. If they want to hear something new and different but still under that indie umbrella, we'll give them a g -

"A Night of Flying Colour"

If you walked by Hunter’s Ale House late last Friday night, you may have heard some spirited flying colour pouring out onto the corner of Kent and Prince streets.

That’s because after much anticipation, the new CD by Charlottetown indie rock group Colour Code was launched in a well-attended album release party at Hunter’s where free CDs were given to every crowd member and everyone soaked up the awaited live performance of the album in its entirety.

Even more buzz has been firing about “the Code” lately, too, as it was announced last month that the band is nominated for three 2014 Music P.E.I. Awards surrounding this new recording called “Houle,” including pop recording of the year, group recording of the year and new artist of the year.

Despite the recent parting-of-the-ways of bass player Jon Millington (Coyote bassist Evan McCosham has stepped in to fill those shoes) the five-piece group is still carrying on strongly, and last Friday was certainly a fine example of this continued strength.

Before Colour Code took Hunter’s stage that night, though, the evening began with an opening performance by a new dynamic cover band on the scene, Yak Bak.

Consisting of Bruce Rooney on guitar/vocals and Evan McCosham on bass/backing vocals (both are members of local indie force, Coyote), along with Evan’s brother Alex McCosham on drums, the band kicked off the night with a joyously-received hour-long set of greats.

Playing a sweet mix of oldies tunes, straight through to the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, Yak Bak ripped through songs ranging from Greased Lightning to Hip to Be Square to The Boys are Back in Town to even some hilarious riffing on ’90’s sitcom themes.

Fueled by the exceptional skill on the electric guitar by frontman Bruce Rooney, the group kicks out a remarkably full sound for a three-piece. And with some spontaneous stage-jump-up additions of musicians like Josh Carter and Colin Buchanan, it all proved to be quite the entertaining opening set.

Just shortly before 1 a.m. Colour Code hopped on stage, as Sam Rayner on vocals/guitar, Emilee Sorrey on vocals/guitar/keytar, Evan McCosham on bass, Morgan Wagner on violin/keyboards and Mitch Gallant on drums fired up the late night crowd with one of their eruptive and long-standing hits, May.

After a couple of other classic Colour Code numbers, the band then paraded into the six-track ensemble of tunes that makes up the “Houle” EP: 77, House on Fire, DNA, Gone to Sea, Worth and Good Hart Worker.

I should mention that the album seems to explore a slightly darker feel than some of their earlier material, but it is still threaded with the same kind of bright-pop shine that has come to be known as the Colour Code sound. The title is in recognition of the historic Houle House, a 19th century downtown historic property, where three of the band members have lived for the past while.

After an intense performance of the full live EP, the crowd chanted out “one more song!” demands for an encore — and the band delivered two — which then even culminated in the stage being stormed by a number of fans, as they helped in the belting out of the last soaring song of the night.

You can catch Colour Code next at the P.E.I. Brewing Company House of Rock on Friday, Jan. 24, which I will be hosting and trying my best to decode these flying colours in interview segments as they go head to head on stage with Wildcat, trading song for song.

As a kickoff to Music P.E.I. Week 2014, the night will also feature performances by Nathan Wiley and Tim Chaisson. It all starts next Friday at 8 p.m. at the P.E.I. Brewing Company. See you there!

Next week: I’ll be telling you all about the first concert in the Ceol Agus Caidre music series, which kicks off tonight in Charlottetown. - The Guardian


Colour Code (5 song demo)
Good Heart Worker - Single Released June 21, 2013



Colour Code is a Canadian alternative pop band formed in 2011 from Charlottetown, PEI. This energetic five-piece combines thick orchestra-like textures with light, indie-pop sensibilities. They consistently tour Eastern Canada with stops at ECMA, NXNE, and Evolve Festival. The groups live show is not to be missed, and is praised for its energy and involvement.

Their debut release, HOULE EP, was recently nominated for two 2014 Music PEI Awards, up for Group Recording of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year. The band won in the prized New Artist of the Year category. Their album was inspired by experiences the band had while living together in their historic downtown residence, and sees the group working with award-winning producer Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions). The focused album showcases unforgettable melodies and upbeat rhythms, while still revealing darker avenues at times. This is evident in standout track House On Fire.

In one sentence: Colour Code is steadily on the rise to being one of Eastern Canadas indie-pop staples.

The band is:

  • Sam Rayner Vocals, Guitar
  • Emilee Sorrey Vocals, Guitar, Keytar, etc.
  • Jon Millington Bass
  • Morgan Wagner Violin, Keys
  • Mitch Gallant Drums

Band Members