Album 101: ford. Breaks Down “The Color Of Nothing” Track by Track

Simply put, ford. is personal. His music strikes you deeply and effectively. At 20 years of age, the young up and coming producer Luc Bradford aka ford. has made the most out of the last few years. Since signing with ODESZA’s record label Foreign Family Collective in 2018, ford. has amassed over 25M+ streams on his debut album (The) Evening, secured spots on Spotify’s Global Viral Charts & US New Music Friday, played Coachella, been hailed by Billboard as an artist to watch out for and most recently found the prestige of becoming a Grammy nominated artist for his remix of Mild Minds’ “SWIM.”

This year ford. returns with his sophomore album The Color of Nothing. While the first album serendipitously came together ford. has a much clearer vision from the outset with this new record, one which pays close attention to small textures and digs its teeth into multiple genres. It is the perfect next step for the young producer. With all that being said, what better way to pinpoint the significance of this album than to hear it from the artist himself. Hear the story of how he put this all together in the track-by-track breakdown below.

THE COLOR OF NOTHING

One of the first tracks I wrote for the album —  “The Color of Nothing” represents this pivotal point, the blank canvas that comes with the turning of a new leaf where all preconceived ideas are left behind and one can create without boundaries or expectations. In a strange way, it’s a song that has been somewhat of an anchor for me over the past 2 years.

HOLD ON (FT. AYELLE)

I remember starting the instrumental for this idea right after i had moved back to the US in 2018. It was a weird transitional period but I found solace in making music and this song was a result of that. I worked with Ayelle on a previous collaboration, so when I started working on this new idea I knew her voice would be perfect. In Ayelle’s words, the song itself is about “when you know that a relationship is slowly coming to an end but you’re both looking for a reason to keep holding onto it.”

FRUIT&SUN

This is definitely one of my favorites off the album. I was creating a ton of house music at the time but I wasn’t satisfied with what I was making until I made this track. 

HEADSPACE

This was one of the earlier songs I think I wrote for the project.  I was still attending University and in between classes I would post up in the library and work on little ideas. This song was a result of those little sessions jamming out by myself in the library haha. 

PAY NO MIND (FT. LANI ROSE)

A little different from my normal sound this track has a bit of everything. It’s got hip-hop, pop, soul, and electronic elements all in one. I had been wanting to work with Lani for a long time and when I came up with the original beat I knew immediately this was the one for him. I love that this track is a different vibe and brings a new energy right when the album needs it. 

CANVAS

I wrote the intro section of this track way back and could never figure out what to do with it. I was actually planning on pulling it from the record but I gave it one last go and was able to create this awesome synth sounding guitar which helped inspire me to finish the whole thing. This ended up being the last track I finished and I’m so glad it’s on the album. 

GROUNDING (INTERLUDE)

During the end of my writing process I spent a lot of time up in this canyon. We have this little spot where you can fully submerge in this cold river that runs along the mountains, we’d go there to clear our heads. This idea of submerging in ice cold water put me in a really meditative yet aware state of mind that was really healing for me during that time. I wanted to create a moment in the project that captured that feeling of really grounding yourself. 

LIVING, BREATHING

I remember messing with a synth and laying down a bunch of random messy ideas, stretching sounds out, and trying a bunch of sample processing things I had never done before. After consistently being on tour, it felt so good to be able to wind down for a minute, take a step back from the shows, and just feel like I could sonically explore. That doodling eventually turned into what is ‘Living, Breathing’ today.”


IN MY EYES (FT. VERZACHE)

This one started in February of 2019. A year later, I finally had a finished demo. Quarantine had gone into full effect and one of the things keeping me going was FaceTiming my friends. I would check in with Zach (Verzache) and we would have these long conversations about mental health, missing touring, and how quarantine was affecting our writing processes, etc. I remember sending the demo to Zach on one of our calls and he sent back a full finished verse the next day. Immensely grateful for dudes like Zach and every opportunity I get to make music with close friends; nothing quite like it.”

TALK

I made this whole song on a flight back from tour. I had found some new samples and I felt like creating something that had a bit more grit than my normal style. The whole thing came together so fast and when I stepped off the plane I already had a full bounce ready to go. 

4:38AM (FT. BARRIE)

As the title suggests, I started this one at 4:38 in the morning with my buddy Ben. He was playing guitar and humming softly while I laid out the beginnings of the track. Once I had the instrumental demo, I tried out a few different vocalists but nothing was sitting right till I heard Barrie. Her tone and vibe emulated the original feeling I had making the demo that night.

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