Having already released one of my favorite records of the year, Uncommon Weather, it seems the songwriting spirit has spurned Glenn Donaldson into churning out even more new music (thank you spirits!). Just yesterday, Glenn’s project The Reds, Pinks and Purples just tossed up two brand new tracks, and it feels like these are already 7″ ready! I love the contrast between Donaldson’s voice and the quick drumming on “Did You Put Your Song Up Today?”. But, if I’m picking a favorite, and I get to, it’s “Waiting on a Ghost to Haunt You,” which has this unique vocal delivery where Glenn’s voice seems to rise, and almost take a stumbling breath at the end of a syllable, almost like a hiccup or a dreamy pop version of Buddy Holly. Whatever. This stuff rules. Listen now!
Honestly, there’s not a scene in the States that’s been so consistently up my alley as San Francisco, and of course, there’s so much of it, sometimes you can’t get to all the posts in one day…so here’s me catching up on two deserving bands and their jams from last week. First, there’s April Magazine, who will release Sunday Music for an Overpass this Friday via Paisley Shirt Records. The tune I’ve got below is this short haunting ballad, like a beautiful little candle flickering in the dark before sputtering out. Then, of course, The Reds, Pinks & Purples officially released their latest 7″, which was originally a bonus if you ordered their latest Uncommon Weather from Slumberland Records.
If this new tune from The Reds, Pinks and Purples isn’t on every “best of” list for this week, then I assure you that pop music is 100% dead. You can’t listen to this song and not absolutely swoon at the carefully crafted emotion, all which seems to call out folks like me fawning over our favorite bands! I just imagine the video treatment opens up with Glenn hopping on his bike and riding off through any city center; the song feels upbeat and energetic, despite the haziness of Donaldson’s vocals. It feels like you’re on the verge of something magical, yet you can’t quite get there; it’s wistful and longing, and maybe even harsh, yet you want to smile and hop on your bike to join him on this trek. The best way is to be better than the biggest fan and buy Uncommon Weather from Tough Love/Slumberland before its out on April 9th.
Glenn Donaldson’s The Reds, Pinks and Purples have a new LP on the way, and rumor has it that it’s flying off shelves. Take one listen below, and you’ll hear the eternal pop sensibility that Donaldson brings to the fold. There’s a light strum fighting against an angular guitar stepping in and out; the drums have this steadying stomp, keeping the song’s balance…all the way to the push towards higher vocal notes. Oddly, the song is kind of stepping on its own toes, with the tune’s thematic reference, discussing the passionate affair of collecting great pop records, of which we have not doubt that Uncommon Weather will soon find its place in that pile. The new LP drops on April 9th via Tough Love/Slumberlandand the damage will be done.
Every list that really mattered at the end of 2020 had You Might Be Happy Someday by the Reds, Pinks & Purples at the top of their list (my personal list too!); it looks like the band will stake their claim to that same acclaim in 2021, as today they announce a new album, Uncommon Weather. Contrasting guitars jut against each other from the open, one ringing melodic and true, while the other seems intent on butting up against it with its angular discord. Fading away, it allows Glenn Donaldson to steady the ship, coolly feathering his vocals across the front of the mix, softly soothing slackers like Bob Pollard singing a bedtime lullaby. Perhaps my favorite bit survives beneath that voice; it recalls the timelessness of Sarah Records or even early K Records, with DIY jangles recorded to tape in solitude. This new record has a great new home too, with Slumberland Records slated to drop the LP on April 9th.
It’s been a crazy year, and a depressing year, so perhaps we all retreated more into our record collections to seek out that fleeting joy. On my end, I spent a lot of time running/walking in the ‘burbs, so these are the records that played the most in my life…thus they are my Favorite Albums of 2020. The validity means little to anyone other than myself, but since you stop by, perhaps come by and check out my list!
And, just an FYI…there are 30 bands, and I linked back to Bandcamp pages so you can buy directly from the artists…except that one band because apparently they’re too cool…even though that album rips.
I first stumbled upon the label Fruits and Flowers via their work with Michael O. of Mantles semi-fame. Like a good fan does, I come back to their page every few weeks to see what’s new, which is how I discovered this interesting 3-way compilation they’re putting together. The comp features 4 tracks each from Michael O., Piano Movers and The Reds, Pinks and Purples. I’m really attached to the track they’ve shared from the latter, and I hope giving it a listen will get you excited for this release too.
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