Glenn Donaldson has been making music since the late 1990s: as The Ivy Tree, as Jewelled Antler Collective in the early ‘00s, with Skygreen Leopards and Art Museums… with his conceptual instrumental project FWY!, or, more recently in his psych-folk collaboration with Jeremy Earl of Woods as Painted Shrines, with singer-songwriter Jem Fanvu in Vacant Gardens. Or with The Reds, Pinks, and Purples. As The Reds, Pinks, and Purples, Donaldson makes indie pop in the late ’80s style, sketching out the simplest and sweetest of pop songs from the barest of elements: strummy guitar chords accented with occasional synth or Casio keyboard line, undercut by the gentle patter of a drum machine. His early The Reds, Pinks, and Purples tracks published on Bandcamp gained attention from many music blogs and Spain’s Pretty Olivia Records offered Donaldson to put them on a vinyl. Anxiety Art was born (in 2019). Just one year later English label Tough Love released You Might Be Happy Someday and Uncommon Weather is the third Red, Pinks, and Purples full-length again released by Tough Love and the Bay Area’s Slumberland Records.
New York singer/songwriter Chris Porpora, aka Cheval Sombre emerged in the mid-2000s with his love for ’60s psychedelia, hypnotic space rock and folk balladry. Working closely with Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom as well as Luna’s Dean Wareham, Cheval Sombre gained a cult following with his eponymous 2009 debut and 2012 follow-up, Mad Love. Since then he realized a record of outlaw country standards with Dan Wareham and now, 9 years after his second solo record, Cheval Sombre releases not one but two records: Time Waits For No One and Days Go By, both on the great label Sonic Cathedral.
Brought up on the sounds of nearby Manchester – think New Order and The Smiths et al – Preston’s duo White Flowers, made up of Katie Drew and Joey Cobb, on 15th January 2020, the duo released their debut double A-side single Night Drive / Portra on Tough Love Records, followed on 8th May by Day By Day / Katy Song (the latter a wonderful Red House Painters’ cover), both co-produced by Doves’ guitarist, Jez Williams. Following the release of the two 12″s in 2020, White Flowers returned with the Within A Dream EP, a four song collection, released on 15th January 2021. this time co-produced with Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Perfume Genius, Portishead). All their videos and records to date, and the artwork for the singles are created entirely by the band, an example of their intentions to create a defined White Flowers universe distinctly their own. Their (long delayed) debut album, Day By Day will be out next week on Tough Love Records.
Would-Be-Goods, the band fronted by singer Jessica Griffin, owes its name to the 1901 novel The Wouldbegoods, by children’s author E. Nesbit. On the first album, The Camera Loves Me, released in 1988, on the legendary él label, Jessica was backed by members of The Monochrome Set. In 1993 she worked with the Monochrome Set on a second album, Mondo, produced by Monochrome Set singer Bid and released on the Japanese label Polystar and then on Cherry Red in England. Peter Momtchiloff, formerly of Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, and Marine Research joined the band in 1999 and two EPs, Emmanuelle Béart and Sugar Mummy, were released in 2001 and 2002 followed by a new album, Brief Lives, released on Matinée Recordings and Fortuna Pop!. The band recorded a fourth album, The Morning After, in 2004 and a fifth, Eventyr, was released in November 2008. There were rumors that band began working on a sixth album in 2019, but it was only in October 2020 that Jessica Griffin began a new project: writing a song a day, with a new title provided every evening by her partner and bandmate Peter Momtchiloff. All the songs were written and performed by Jessica. Fifteen of the songs were released on Bandcamp (as three five-song EPs) in March 2021.
Over three decades as the unassuming but pivotal figure behind some of Scotland’s most iconic pop, Jim McCulloch delivers his debut solo album. When I Mean What I Say will be released on Violette Records on 21 May 2021. Lush and textured, delicate and intriguing, it is immersed in the melodic tapestries of Laurel Canyon but rooted in Jim’s life in his hometown of Glasgow. Bursting onto the influential mid-80s Scottish scene with the BMX Bandits, making his mark with The Soup Dragons and then with Superstar, Jim’s albums as Green Peppers identified a songwriter committed to the detailed sculpting of melody and expression. His craft and presence, both as a composer and performer, are felt on his contributions to the critically lauded collaborations between Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. And in summer 2020 the second Snowgoose album, his psyche-folk project with Anna Sheard, was met with considerable acclaim.