The REDS PINKS & PURPLES – ” Summer at Land’s End “

Posted: January 8, 2023 in MUSIC
nice color

“Summer at Land’s End” is the 4th LP from The Reds, Pinks & Purples, Glenn Donaldson’s solo kitchen pop “band” (though he has recently debuted a 5-piece live band he hopes to take on the road). Since 2019 The Reds, Pinks & Purples has built an obsessive, ever-growing following by combining a traditional vinyl-oriented release schedule with monthly drops of new songs on Bandcamp and live streams on Instagram. 2021’s “Uncommon Weather” was something of a breakthrough, getting actual radio airplay and even reaching #7 in the UK indie album breakers chart. Hitting a wildly prolific phase, Donaldson is back in less than a year with the brilliantly ambitious “Summer At Land’s End.”

Like the blossoming flower-themed sleeve might imply, it’s bursting with heart-ripped-open vocals, ringing guitars, and warm reverberations. There are still plenty of concise indie-pop songs, but the album expands on the formula of the first three LPs into hazier acoustic sounds and some extended mood pieces. Even with the lush textures immediately evident on album opener “Don‘t Come Home Too Soon” there’s a gorgeous intimacy at work here, with every guitar note and vocal harmony existing in perfect service to the song. Similarly, “Let’s Pretend We’re Not in Love” is an exercise in pop economy that sounds so immediately ‘right’ that it seems destined for a thousand mix tapes.

Dreamy instrumentals like “Dahlias and Rain” and the title song work on an even deeper level, showing another side of Donaldson’s writing that is as at home with atmospherics and mystery as his pop songs are with harmony and melody. Indeed, the initial vinyl pressing features an entire bonus LP of shimmering instrumental pieces that wouldn’t be out of place on certain Durutti Column or Roy Montgomery records.

The album title refers to “Lands End,” a park vista in Donaldson’s neighbourhood in San Francisco but also a metaphorical precipice, maybe the cliff’s edge the world is on right now. “For better or worse, this is the ‘love’ record. All the songs are about love in its different forms, all the shelter and pain that comes from it,” says Donaldson. You might hear ’80s and ’90s influences in the echoing guitars, Creation, Teenbeat, 4AD, or even the radio pop of your youth, but more so, you might hear melodies and words that resonate someplace deep down as you journey through “Land’s End” and move the needle back to the beginning again.

 A limited edition double vinyl version that’s pressed on yellow vinyl, comes in a gatefold sleeve, and includes a bonus album of instrumental songs. These are not instrumental versions of the album; they’re all new songs. The double album version will only be available in the US directly from Slumberland (ONE PER CUSTOMER, PLEASE) and select indie retailers.2. A green vinyl single LP version that comes in a single LP jacket with a printed inner sleeve. This version will be available mail order and from all retailers.

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