Sound & Vision with The Reds, Pinks & Purples

For as long as music has been a ‘thing’, the radio has been a source for finding new acts. And having been an advocate of new acts for over thirty years, it was no surprise that Steve Lamacq has been giving airtime to the wonderful new single, The Record Player and the Damage Done, on BBC 6 Music. In fact, the track is absolutely made for the medium: two and a half minutes of skittling chords, perfect melodies, a loose DIY aesthetic, and a Neil Young pun to boot. With new long player, Uncommon Weather, out through Tough Love on 9th April, now’s the perfect time to join The Reds, Pinks & Purples’ revolution!

 These are Glenn Donaldson’s Sound & Vision picks:

Three Favourite Albums:

Tracey Thorn – A Distant Shore

Thorn’s debut is stripped-down and perfect. After leaving the influential Marine Girls, she made this LP of solo minimalist acoustic songs. Melancholy and dreamy folk with a touch of Bossa Nova and Jazz in the strumming, the album is mostly carried by her arresting vocals and a touch of reverb; one of the greatest singers ever.

Husker Du -Warehouse Songs and Stories

1984’s Zen Arcade gets all the accolades, but this is Husker Du’s 2nd double LP masterpiece. It’s a masterclass in songwriting – every song. Rarely has raging noise and pop come together around such refined song-craft. The two songwriters in the band were not getting along by the time of this LP, and it seems like each is trying to annihilate the other one by writing the most blazing hooks.

East River Pipe – Shining Hours in a Can

I have covered three songs from this collection, and I almost always want to write a song if I listen to it. East River Pipe is one person, FM Cornog, who is a contemporary of Robert Pollard and Stephen Merritt, and every bit their equal. He is one of the great American songwriters, though he mostly never performed live. Luckily, Merge Records still puts out one of his home recorded albums once in a blue moon.

One film I love:

Wendy and Lucy

Kelly Reichardt is one of the great film directors of our time and deserves way more attention and praise. She is a poet with a certain gloomy Pacific Northwest sensibility. I love all her films, but I’m going with Wendy and Lucy because it never fails to makes me weep.

One book I love:

Denton Welch – In Youth is Pleasure

Welch’s writing was deceptively simple while being rich with the small details of his obsessions and hidden passions. He tragically died at age 33 from complications after a bike accident, leaving only a few novels, short pieces and some lovely paintings and drawings. His books had the best titles too.

A song that means a lot to me:

I’m pretty fond of the Monkees. They showed the old TV shows on MTV when I was a kid, and it made me want to join a band. As much as I love the Monkees’ version, Carole King’s original demo for Pleasant Valley Sunday is so much more moving. Put this on a mix between The Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society and The Smiths’ William It Was Really Nothing.

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