Red House Painters - Down Colorful Hill (LP)

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In 2015, each of Red House Painters' original studio albums released on 4AD will be reissued on individual vinyl after being out of print for years. Originally released between 1992 and 1995, titles include Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster), Red House Painters (Bridge), and Ocean Beach (which has been reformatted as a double 12” LP to also include the Shock Me EP).

Singer Mark Kozelek wrote songs that defied conventional structure. His lyrics were poetic and plainspoken. He wrote about what he knew. The band played along. Drummer Anthony Koutsos ignored the standard time-keeper temptation to speed things up. He understood the value of playing against such instincts. Bassist Jerry Vessel locked into place, sustaining notes until the setting was nearly ambient. Guitarist Gorden Mack added subtle flourishes, tonal colorings that aided the songs‚ sombre hues.

Anyone who persevered, who accepted the fact that these songs took time, was amply rewarded. 4AD chief Ivo Watts-Russell sensed this and after minimal remixing, the label released six songs in 1992 - all taken from the band’s original demo tape - as Down Colorful Hill, the first introduction to the world of Kozelek and the Red House Painters. Out of print since its original release, it remains one of the 4AD's strongest offerings.


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