Small Colors – The Pull of Autumn (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is nothing like kicking off an album with some beguiling and engaging sounds, the sort of musical exoticism which grabs the listener right from the first languorous and luxurious vocal, the first skittering and skewed beat. That’s how you get peoples attention and Bakhchalarda does just that and does it perfectly. A blend of digital drum patterns woven into primal beats and exotic, eastern-infused vocal haze, it sets the sonic scene perfectly, makes you realise that anything could happen on this album and the only way to find out how that might sound is to buckle up and dive in…if such a mixed metaphor were indeed possible, but you know what I mean.

A few things that you might need to know as you prepare yourself for the plunge. The Pull of Autumn is a super-group, of sorts, an ever shifting swirl of creativity based around Johanna’s House of Glamour’s Daniel Darrow and Luke ‘Skyscraper’ James from Fashion and often taking in collaborations with many 4AD and Rough Trade artists, which in itself tells you something about the nature of the music that they make. The Pull of Autumn don’t “do” genres. If they do, it is only after they have put them through the blender, chopped them up and turned them into anagrams or used them to conduct unethical sonic gene-splicing experiments in a basement late at night.


At one extreme, Color blends cavernous, raw-edge guitars which dominate, burying the vocals into a half-heard whisper and allowing only distant chimes and spiralling electronica to occasionally escape its incendiary vortex. At the other end is Bored and Lonely, a wonky, New Wave sing-along. Shipwrecked on Aspirin sounds like The B-52’s thumb-wrestling with Talking Heads and Delirious Intuition is what you would get if you merge dream-pop and reggae and which also begs the question as to why no one has done this before. Okay, The Veldt have done this before but there should be more of this sort of thing going on if you ask me.

It is safe to say that there is something for everyone to be found here. Art rock to alternative jazz, post-punk to post-rock, pop of all colours (pun and English spelling intended) but mainly songs which are truly genre-less or perhaps contain far too many genres all at once. But then who’s counting? In fact the only people who are not going to like this album are the people who stock the shelves in music stores. I mean in what generic section are you going to file such a blatantly, wild body of work? Perhaps just throw it blindfold across the room, where it lands is probably as good a place as any.

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