There are releases which instantly enslave your attention and there are some which sow a seed of intrigue and fascination which blossoms over time and captures the imagination just as fully. Small Colours, the new album from The Pull of Autumn, settles in the latter camp of temptation. It is a collection of tracks which tantalised from the first listen planting potent lures which kept drawing us back. With every play it grew and enticed further involvement until it has to be said we have become utterly beguiled with the album. How it takes your ears and interest will be individual of course but it is hard to not see it ultimately making a similar impact on the imagination such its enthralling explorations.
Based between Boston and Rhode Island, art rock collective, The Pull of Autumn centres round the invention and imagination of Daniel Darrow from Johanna’s House of Glamour and Luke ‘Skyscraper’ James of new wave outfit Fashion. As with previous releases, the band’s third album embraces the creativity of high profile artists, friends and local musicians as it unveils a collection of songs which present a kaleidoscope of sound and diversity but unite in mesmeric temptation. Small Colors includes members from the likes of Dif Juz, Epic 45, Boyracer, Perfect Disaster, Insides, Orange Cake Mix and vocalists such as Mina Hunt, Jeanne Batting, Colin Darrow, and Matthew Darrow, each bringing individual imagination and interpretation to the original songs and covers within the release and a myriad of creative canvases drawing on a just as rich array of styles and flavours.
To be honest our words will only give a glimpse to the adventure of Small Colours such its ever evolving fresh aspects we discover with every listen; each a rich impact on ears and thoughts. From opener Bakhchalarda, a haunting piece of atmospheric enthralment within a Western Asia captivation, the album took ears and imagination on a mercurial ride, the following Easy a wistful contemplation within a summery soulful haze. Together the songs suggest the aberrantly multifarious experiences to come; a thought and pleasure quickly confirmed by the warm melancholy of pop catchy No Romance and the enthralling shadows of the classically nurtured Fester, two ballads which absorbed ears and imagination in unique but similarly enthralled ways.
The following pair of That’s How it’s Always Been and The Stars or the Jungle only expanded the aural panorama, the first a hypnotic slice of creative drama and emotive intimacy. Shadows bound its serenade, its air claustrophobic but irresistibly seductive around just as compelling vocals with its acoustic simplicity only adding to the closeness of its touch and depth of its fascination as it took favourite track honours. Its successor, a song written by Bruce McLeod and re-imagined here by Julian Tardo and Kristy Yates of 4AD artist Insides, is a captivation of suggestive ambience, again shadows an intense wrap around lighter electronic and melodic reflection as a tempest looms, ebbing and flowing in threat and intensity. Again the uncluttered aspects building its presence provide the strongest intimation proving that less is more a powerful tool.
A cover of The Bee Gees track, Holiday, features Orange Cake Mix (a.k.a. James Rao) and too has a ruefulness which seeped under the skin with ease, atmospherics and emotions a cloudy pleasure, before the post punk lit, funk animated Lampin and folkish haziness of The Beautiful Golden Y with its anomalous beauty further ignited the imagination. The second of the two especially enthralled, a success matched by The Sun Is Going to Shine. Like the hope sculpted light side of the dark moon cast by The Walker Brothers’ classic, The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore, the track consumed thought and attention.
The folk punkishness of Bored and Lonely similarly had us greedily feasting as too a great version of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind, its sonic wrap almost an itch upon the senses which we just had to keep scratching at for greater addictiveness. Both had us licking lips hungrily though they still found themselves eclipsed by the outstanding Shipwrecked on Aspirin, a cosmic postpunk/new wave flight seemingly under the combined captaincy of Spizz Energi, Bill Nelson, and Pere Ubu.
The darkly radiant dub nurtured, Morcheeba hued captivation of Delirious Intuition and the swarming discordance of Color ensured engagement was complete, the second of the two a smog of corrosive psychedelia enveloping the senses like a Spaceman 3 infested Curve.
No Day at the Beach completes the release, poetic vocal prose and sonic ambience aligning to trigger the imagination one last time, a piece of creative storytelling epitomising the obsessive magnetism that is Small Colors, a truly surprising and fascinating not forgetting thickly enjoyable treat.
Small Colors is out now via RBM Records; available @ https://thepullofautumn.bandcamp.com/album/small-colors
Pete RingMaster 07/11/2020