Color Theory: Beige


Hello! Welcome to Color Theory! This is my little column about how people like to group music. One of my favorite people on Spotify is Carly Bogie (@hahahkcoolgtgbye). Carly makes the most fantastic playlist known to man; you should definitely check them out. One ‘genre’ of playlist she makes is sorting songs into different colors. Usually, colors on the outrageous side too, like terracotta, lemon, or fuchsia. After falling down this trap of color playlists, I realized how much I also group my own music into different colors. So, this column is just going to be rambling on about a color I like, the music tied to it, and the vibes.

I think this idea of tying our music to colors is so fascinating because colors encompass so many things. I associate different colors with my emotions, with the weather, with the tempo of the music, and the indescribable ‘vibe’ that I get from colors. Because of this, I sometimes think that the music I would sort into different color categories don’t exactly go together stylistically but, to me, all the songs seem like they fit together.

Introducing this week’s color: beige!

Such a boring color, I know. But the past few days, for me at least, have been quite beigey. The weather has been going from the 50-degree rainy days to 75 and sunny. Thus, it doesn’t feel like true fall yet but it’s also not exactly true summer weather anymore—I’ve been immensely content with the temperature and the sun. Thus, beige. Beige, to me, feels like a 64-degree day where the sun is shining down. Beige is like sitting in a sunbeam through the window. Beige is being covered up by a huge comforter on a Monday morning. Beige feels like I’m comfortable. And beige feels like the word ‘lovely’.

One beige song I think is Lizzy McAlpine’s apple pie. And her music is the epitome of beige. But this is a good thing! Lizzy’s music feels like a welcoming hug and a warm cinnamon apple, just like this song. This song, like many of the other beige songs, feels soft to me. The music is calming, and the imagery produced is just so homey. Home is a big theme in this song as well, and how the idea of home can follow a person rather than a place. A person can carry that comfortableness and love that you associate with home. These are feelings that I also associate with beige thus apple pie is a great song to start us off.

Following Lizzy is Bags by Clairo. One thing about Bags is that the music is just so lovely. The piano track feels intimate and sometimes it makes me feel like someone is just putting on a live show in their garage. This song tends to envelop me, which gives it that beigey feeling. It just feels comfortable. Clairo herself calls the song ‘sweet’ which I think also embodies being beige. Not to mention, Bags is about firsts. The tricky nuances of your first love can always encompass that in-between, exciting but worrisome, beige state.

Next up is Maggie Rogers’ Horses. Maggie said she wrote this song in one day and the vocals were done in one take. She describes it as a very ‘raw’ song. Horses seems to be about giving into feelings. This idea of being raw and giving into something correlates with that covered and comforted nature that beige is. Being at school, I often relate to the desire to be free that Maggie expresses in this song. But it also has an upbeat rhythm to it which counteracts the melancholy lyrics. Overall, Horses really embodies that beige feeling of being in the in-between and accepting that.

Now, one thing I think is fun about color playlists is when the actual title of the song corresponds. Which leads us to our next song, Beige by Yoke Lore. I recently discovered Yoke Lore and highly recommend his music. Beige envelops you. The music builds up and instead of reaching any kind of beat drop just casually falls back. Yoke Lore also utilizes unique sounds which make the track feel more intimate. When I listen to this song, I feel like I’m sitting under a tree somewhere just existing. That same feeling of being covered in sunbeams comes with this song thus leading to its classification as beige.