Thursday, December 7, 2023
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The Early Purple – Summer Hide Review

Right as the sun kisses the crest of a new build roof is the perfect time to listen to Summer Hide. Relax into The Early Purple. They make it ever so easy to connect with the music on show. From the light tenderness of the aptly-titled Intro to the core of this recent EP, there is a flow of confidence which connects neatly, softly. Essential music to listen to while undergoing some half-hearted crisis or suffering from heatstroke. Not the only two moods to listen to Summer Hide in of course, but sometimes it is nice to land softly on a bed of real ambition and tender instrumentals which possess a cool, clear endpoint. Delicate acoustic notes provide the title track with sturdy and unwavering optimism.  

Rarer it may be to feel optimistic in times when the Tassimo machine struggles to read barcodes on flat white pods and you begin rolling toward a quarter-life crisis, there is something thoroughly calming about Summer Hide. It is an EP which feels more like an event than an experience. It is the latter, of course, but its tone and the booming, heavier percussion on Summer Hide is astounding. Sincerely affecting and tender in all the right ways, The Early Purple is an artistic stripping down to the real essentials of ballad-like acoustics. Lead vocalist Matt Saxon is a rare gem, a diamond in a sea of glittering independent projects. Haul The Early Purple and Summer Hide along for the ride though, the insights and intimacies here are as truthful as they are beautiful. 

Only the best and brightest of musicians come from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Early Purple can safely join the ranks of local legends with this release, the sickly sentimentalities of This Morning recall all those memories connected to Magic Hat café and beyond. Coerce God out of his hiding spot and ask for forgiveness as This Morning does, the thump and motion of these percussion-heavy tracks are an utter delight. Big Mistake follows those same important rules which guide these utterly wonderful tracks. Daniel Saxon and Matt Hardy on bass and percussion duties respectively bring around a convincing command of an instrumental bed. Lie back in it and the string lushness brought around by Will Thorneycroft, and Summer Hide cannot get much better.  

With EPs as they are now, taster sessions for those who may be interested in a further listen, there are few as well-versed and reassuring as The Early Purple. Maybe those Northumbrian roots are the reason for the love laden thick in this release, but there is something sombre and kinetic about a five-track stretch which makes you think of home. Few can do this, even fewer will maintain steady tonal patterns throughout their EP. Saxon makes it seem so natural, a flow which stops off not just on memory lane but dips itself deep into essential messages of growth and philosophy. The first go-around for Summer Hide is the reaction to wanting to move on, the listens to follow an act of reassurance. Earnest and spiritual in equal measure, the soft-spoken tones of Giant and the slide ring guitar work wonders for the ears, heart and soul.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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