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The Reds, Pinks And Purples

Summer At Land's End

    Summer at Land’s End is not an interlude or tangent for The Reds, Pinks & Purples but rather a perfect fourth movement following the albums Anxiety Art, You Might Be Happy Someday, and Uncommon Weather. As with these self-recorded records (the primary work of songwriter Glenn Donaldson), the songs on Summer at Land’s End were crafted slowly and then drawn together to make a unified statement. But here, and more than before, Summer at Land’s End combines Donaldson’s rueful pop sensibility with a parallel musical universe, one composed of pictures, dreams, and feelings without words. Even if the underlying theme of this collection is one of conflict or unhappiness, the vision of the music presents an escape to a new world, always fading in and out of sight.

    For listeners who may not be familiar with Donaldson’s corner of San Francisco––the Richmond district––or the current wave of hazy, melodic DIY pop groups performing in the city, Summer at Land’s End pulls in images and scenes that feel like a collision of the mundane and the sublime of this present landscape. But settings such as these are the backdrop for personal narratives, expressed as a struggle with love, with companionship and the conflicts of home. With this record, The Reds, Pinks & Purples give less focus to the vanities of a subculture and more to the challenge of connecting with someone, to the ordinary goals of being human and finding harmony with others.

    This deliberate saturation in drama and ambiance, along with some of Donaldson’s best songwriting to date, is what gives Summer at Land’s End its special class in the project’s discography. Of the album’s cinematic mood, Donaldson refers to films like Summer of ‘42 and the influence of the classic 4AD catalogue of the 1990s. This style informs much of Donaldson’s prior and current ventures of course (The Ivytree, Vacant Gardens, and a dozen projects in between) but now The Reds, Pinks & Purples have taken the mantle, embracing this instinct for instrumental or dreamier modes of pop songwriting. It’s a pleasure to experience Summer at Land’s End, as this record finds a thrilling balance between songs and sounds, instruments and voices, and the ironic twin poles of art and life.


    1. Don’t Come Home Too Soon (03:12)
    2. Let’s Pretend We’re Not In Love (03:06)
    3. New Light (02:53)
    4. My Soul Unburdened (02:21)
    5. Summer At Land’s End (07:02)
    6. Pour The Light In (04:10)
    7. All Night We Move (02:42)
    8. Tell Me What’s Real (03:05)
    9. Upside Down In An Empty Room (03:15)
    10. Dahlias And Rain (02:37)
    11. I’d Rather Not Go Your Way (01:56)

    Side A
    Don’t Come Home Too Soon (03:12)
    Let’s Pretend We’re Not In Love (03:06)
    New Light (02:53)
    My Soul Unburdened (02:21)
    Summer At Land’s End (07:02)
    Side B
    Pour The Light In (04:10)
    All Night We Move (02:42)
    Tell Me What’s Real (03:05)
    Upside Down In An Empty Room (03:15)
    Dahlias And Rain (02:37)
    I’d Rather Not Go Your Way (01:56)
    Never Said I Was Sorry Then (02:34)
    Hummingbirds (03:19)
    Holiday Cheer (02:56)
    Randy, If You Were Here (02:34)
    Public Fountains (02:37)
    Outer Avenues (02:37)
    Sea Wall (02:43)
    Mountain Lake Park (05:10)
    Conservatory Of Flowers (03:19)
    Like A Ghost Warmed Over (02:48)
    Midday Sun (04:05)

    The Reds, Pinks And Purples

    You Might Be Happy Someday

      Deep amidst San Francisco’s Richmond neighborhood misty air and washed-out pastel blocks, Glenn Donaldson has been diligently creating minor masterpieces with rudimentary home technology for some time now. With The Reds, Pinks & Purples, Donaldson has finally created a vivid reflection of this dreary scene. You Might be Happy Someday is an oblique strand of SF outer-avenue cloud cover that stretches across the Atlantic to the grey docks of Bristol as captured in Sarah Records’ fetishized insert photos. Despite the deceptively congenial presentation, Happy is often a heavy record. After a litany of Donaldson’s past iterations (from experimental abstraction to post-punk and pop), The Reds, Pinks & Purples is Glenn D’s most personal project.

      Balanced awkwardly atop almost ironically upbeat jangles and rhythms Mitch Easter might have captured on his reel-to-reel are prime cuts of bummer pop. Almost every track is written in second person, creating a feeling of overheard private inner conversations-on-repeat: soft-lob criticisms, supportive friend advice and embarrassing confessions, You Might be Happy Someday is a smeared window into the (kindly) cynical thoughts of a romantic misanthrope. Like the work of other U.S. depresso-pop purveyors East River Pipe, The Reds, Pinks & Purples’ mini-album is the kind of record that is both unsettling and comforting. When you’re four drinks deep and you’ve worn your Smiths records out, You Might Be Happy Someday is on deck to have wine spilled on it while you dance alone in the kitchen. 


      1 Last Summer In A Rented Room
      2 Forgotten Names
      3 Worst Side Of Town
      4 Your Parents Were Wrong About You
      5 Desperate Parties
      6 Half-a-Shadow
      7 Sex, Lies & Therapy
      8 You Might Be Happy Someday

      All formats come with a free Piccadilly Records EOY Sampler CD whilst stocks last.

      A message from an old friend earlier this year: “I heard an album yesterday and thought: I bet Laura likes this”. It wasn’t a record I knew, but one look at the record’s sleeve and I was pretty sure he’d be right - It looked like an album I’d love! (We’ve all bought an album ‘cos we love the artwork right?) He was talking about this, the third LP in as many years from San Francisco resident Glen Donaldson. Self recorded and self produced, this collection of 13 succinct, super melodic, understated pop songs has a lovely warm, hazy feel to it. With song titles like “A Kick In The Face (That’s Life)” and “I Hope I Never Fall In Love” you can guess there’s a heavy dose of melancholy in the songwriting, but the gorgeous guitar jangles that chime through the low-fi haze lift the spirit, like the sun breaking through the clouds on a summer's day. 


      Don’t Ever Pray In The Church On My Street (02:46)
      I Hope I Never Fall In Love (02:56)
      The Biggest Fan (02:47)
      Uncommon Weather (01:54)
      A Kick In The Face (that’s Life) (02:01)
      I Wouldn’t Die For Anyone (02:35)
      I’m Sorry About Your Life (02:05)
      The Record Player And The Damage Done (02:22)
      Pictures Of The World (03:11)
      Life At Parties (02:52)
      Sing Red Roses For Me (03:54)
      The Songs You Used To Write (02:49)
      Sympathetic (03:11)

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