5. Pour The Light In To See The Reds, Pinks & Purples
A songwriter based out of San Francisco, Glenn Donaldson has been making music under the pseudonym The Reds, Pinks & Purples since the 2019 release of Anxiety Art. Along the way, Glenn’s music caught the ear of the much-adored indie-pop imprint, Slumberland Records, who earlier this year released the band’s break-out third album, Uncommon Weather. Wasting no time, the band are set to return in February with their latest collection Summer At Land’s End and this week they shared the first single from it, Pour The Light In.
Discussing the new track, Glenn explains it was inspired by reversing the Magazine song title, “The Light Pours out of me”. The resultant track is a reflection on a sort of spiritual rebirth, as Glenn puts it, “wondering if such a thing can happen and if it can lift a person out of despair‘. Glenn has spoken of his desire to capture a more cinematic sound on Summer At Land’s End, and that is evident in Pour The Light In, the music seems to almost fade in and out of focus, offering clarity one second, before descending into moments of hazy majesty. It might be a record of conflict, yet already Summer At Land’s End seems a record of connections, an open, distinctly human hand reaching out to be pulled from the dark and into the pouring light.
4. Laura-Mary Carter Isn’t Into The Blues
Laura-Mary Carter is something of a musical veteran, having made her name as one-half of Brighton’s finest rock band, Blood Red Shoes. After a chance encounter with a beaten up acoustic-guitar, Laura set out to do something entirely different to the day job and embraced the quieter and more contemplative side of music. The result is her debut mini-album, Town Called Nothing, which is out today, and was previewed this week with the release of her latest single, Blue’s Not My Colour.
Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Laura has suggested it’s about, “wanting an uncomplicated relationship”. Inspired by the classic sounds of Patsy Cline, the track is Laura’s attempt, “to write a type of love song but flip the script with a little bit of humour to it”. It’s not just thematically that Laura seems to be touching on the great American songbook, with its wandering bass-line, and easy fluttering guitars, the track seems to nod to the likes of Emmylou Harris or even her semi-namesake, June Carter. Lyrically, Blue’s Not My Colour is sharp as a knife, as Laura casts off the cloying nature of an unwanted suitor, “blue’s not my colour, it’s not that kind of love, just a moment in time, like a stranger passing by, don’t make it hard“. With Blood Red Shoes themselves recently returning, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of the solo musings of Laura-Mary Carter, there’s already enough evidence here to suggest it’s a musical vision that is well worth pursuing.
Town Called Nothing is out today. For more information on Laura-Mary Carter visit https://www.lauramarycarter.com/.
3. Josephine Sillars Isn’t Making Any Firm Plans
Although originally from the Scottish Highlands, back at the start of 2020, Josephine Sillars relocated to West Yorkshire, settling in her new home of Leeds. After releasing the Desperate Characters EP earlier this year, Josephine has caught the ear of Come Play With Me who this week released Josephine’s new track, I’ll See You When I See You, as part of the labels singles club.
As you’d perhaps expect from a song written shortly after a huge life event, I’ll See You When I See You is a reflection on pursuing your own path in life, writ large with themes of homesickness and the difficulty in pursuing your dreams. If the themes are nostalgic, the music sounds anything but, a bracing blast of harmonious beauty. The song builds around a looping piano line, adorned with processed beats and swirling orchestral flourishes, Josephine’s multi-layered vocal drifting in and out of the musical haze as if torn by the pull of adventure and the comforts of home. A delightfully complex piece of songwriting, while the title might suggest otherwise, Josephine Sillars is a name you’ll be seeing an awful lot more from in the months ahead.
I’ll See You When I See You is out now via Come Play With Me. For more information on Josephine Sillars visit https://josephinesillars.weebly.com/.
2. Maria DeHart Channels Her Inner Emily
When the world got turned upside down back in 2020, Maria DeHart, a songwriter from Portland, Oregon, made the decision to try and make the most of it by diving into self-reflection. Isolated from her regular band and with her physical freedom restricted, she embraced songwriting, spontaneity and solitude. The result was Quarantunes, a collection of self-recorded bedroom-pop sketches with all the intimate, dusty beauty of a sun-dappled bedroom, which saw the light of day back in January. Book-ending the year with another release, Maria has recently shared a brand new track, Emily, as part of a compilation for Strawberry Moon Records.
Emily is a song named in honour of one of the musician’s that inspired Maria, recalling the feelings conjured by listening to Emily Yacina’s song, Remember the Silver. The song ended up as a reflection on feeling trapped by your own inability to change things, as Maria explains, “it’s about feeling trapped and suffocated in a big city…at the same time, it’s also a hopeful song about figuring out how to feel okay about where I’m at”. Musically, the track is a beautifully serene affair, the steady driving quality of the acoustic guitar contrasted by the easiness of Maria’s vocal, creating a perfect blend of light and shade, reminiscent of Galaxie 500 or modern contemporaries like Babehoven or Haley Heynderickx. In some ways, Maria De Hart is a reminder of how much can be achieved from seemingly so little, with just a bedroom and a creative streak she’s made something that really soars, reaching out across oceans and borders and ready to make a connection with anyone who’s willing to give her music the time of day.
1. Eve Adams Takes Flight
Eve Adams appeared on this page back in October when she released her fantastic single, La Ronde. The track was the first taste of Eve’s upcoming record, which is out in January via Todmorden’s premier record label, Basin Rock. Ahead of the album’s release in February next year, this week Eve has shared the latest track from the record in the shape of its sparkling title track, Metal Bird.
The titular Metal Bird is not actually a steam-punk avian sadly, but a reference to planes, as Eve explains, “for me, the airplane is symbolic of something very close to death”. She goes on to recall a life spent always worrying about travel, and how she found the pre-flight farewell phones calls a metaphor for the entire experience of movement, as she explains, “in order to travel to a new place, you have to travel lightly, and you have to surrender to fate”. Perhaps fittingly Metal Bird has a certain blend of the sombre and the exciting, the ominous waves of keys and metronomic repeated acoustic guitar phrase creating a base for the delicate inflexion’s in her stunning vocal and the almost meandering freedom of the electric guitar. On first listen, the delicacy of Eve Adam’s music can almost seem to slide into the background, yet with repeat listens the rewards become clear, these songs burrow under your skin and stir something magical, heavenly sounds from a musician who’s surely about to take flight.
Header photo is Eve Adams