Open Up Your Colouring Book

MA 077LP MA 077LP

Gatefold double LP version. Includes a CD copy of the album. It's the return of the magnificent Pearlfishers. After a long hiatus since their last album Up with the Larks (2007) -- the band from Glasgow is finally back with a brand-new album, their seventh for Marina Records. Open Up Your Colouring Book turned out rather epic -- in scope and content -- and it was well worth the wait. Welcome to a musical journey over 16 tracks and 67 minutes -- brimful with sophisticated arrangements, multi-layered vocal harmonies and extravagant key changes. It's proof that classic pop songwriting is alive and well in 2014. The album kickstarts with lovely "Diamanda." Perfectly building a bridge between the classic hook-laden Pearlfishers pop songs from their earlier albums to the slightly more reflective tunes of the new album, it bristles with chiming electric guitars and stacked vocal counterpoint. The trip continues with "To the Northland," full of acoustic guitars, timpani and a full-blown string section. The song recalls main Pearlfisher David Scott's days in the early 1980s and the social and political turmoil of that time. It's one of the many songs on the album that takes escape and flight as a central theme. "The Last Days of September" leaves the frosty streets and empty cafés of a dying town behind on a Midlake meets Mamas And The Papas choir. "Gone in the Winter" moves in the opposite direction, on the trail of disappeared music icon Bobbie Gentry to an epic finale recalling Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue. The title-track is a trip of its own -- a widescreen landscape of musical sections and emotions, extremely rich in detail, showcasing David Scott's truly unique sense of melody, songwriting and arrangement. Continuing a good-old Pearlfishers tradition, the album includes a quirky instrumental. "Attacked by Mountain Cats" sounds like a lost Morricone theme from a late '60s Italian movie, including some mad whistling. The multi-stacked vocals and sacred beauty of "Silly Bird" recall the Beach Boys' Friends period. Over the years David Scott worked with the likes of BMX Bandits, Isobel Campbell, Norman Blake and Bill Wells. Open Up Your Colouring Book includes two of those collaborations -- both with New York City-based songwriters. "Chasing All the Good Days Down" was written with Amy Allison (with whom Scott released the album Turn Like the World Does, 2012). The heartbreaking ballad "I Don't Want to Know About It" was co-written with Erin Moran aka A Girl Called Eddy. "You Can't Escape the Way You Feel" sounds like a straight '70s AM radio smash à la Todd Rundgren -- with superb falsetto vocals and a great horn-driven outro. Two piano-based tunes close the album: The Jimmy Webb-ish "Her Heart Moves Like the Sea Moves" and "A Christmas Tree in a Hurricane" -- played on a deeply reverbed Wurlitzer piano -- bring the journey to a great emotional finale.