Hear no evil: 5 songs to start seeing colour in music

Coldplay, Jason Mraz, Taylor Swift, The Beatles -

Hear no evil: 5 songs to start seeing colour in music

Kanye West has it. So does John Mayer and Lorde.

We’re talking about synaesthesia, a condition that can make your brain perceive sound as colour and even smell. In the case of some musicians like West; he sees the colour blue, dark brown and purple when he is making music on various instruments.

Most of us may not have synaesthesia so we can’t see or experience sound the way some musicians do. Fortunately there are plenty of songs that can help you imagine colours in your own way.


Yellow Submarine by The Beatles

It’s hard to not want to sing-along to this fun number. Lines like “Sky of blue and sea of green /In our yellow submarine…” will make you think of a bright sunny day by the beach. How about the ocean inviting you to take a dip into gorgeous seafoam-coloured water? Then of course, you’d want your very own Yellow Submarine adorned with trippy psychedelic colours.



Red by Taylor Swift

Only Taylor Swift can use various colours to describe what it’s like to fall in and out of love. Being in this new exciting relationship was akin to seeing the bright colours of autumn. However, when her heart breaks and longing sets in; blue is the saddest colour (“Losing him was blue like I'd never known...”). Ultimately, she decides on red - a colour that evokes passion and rage - as what it was like to fall in love with the person who inspired the song. If you’re seeing red over a former lover, now you know why.

Everglow by Coldplay

Now this song is said to be inspired by vocalist Chris Martin’s divorce from Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow. In the song, everglow describes the feeling of reminiscing a past memory. Instead of reeling in the sadness, one can choose to remember to the good times associated with the past. A form of everglow here is described as “celestial” and in “perfect purple” which may make you think of iridescent cosmic colours. In other words, here’s a song that will have you dreaming of a distant memory in shiny yet calming colours.

Geek In Pink by Jason Mraz

People often think of pink as a feminine colour thanks to Barbie and how girls clothing usually comes in this shade. So men generally avoid wearing pink to avoid being misunderstood. Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz proves that men shouldn’t be scared to rock the colour pink confidently. As he sings “Don't judge me by the color, confuse it for another/You might regret what you let slip away…”. So be whoever you want to be in pink.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + The Machine

Ever wish you could just spend the day lying on the ground to just look at the sky? Florence + The Machine knows that feeling through this song with a title inspired by gorgeous skyline of the city of Los Angeles. The line “and every skyline was like a kiss upon the lips” perfectly describes what it’s like to get lost in the calmness of a day where the sky is just blue and beautiful.

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