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A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Nitetime Rainbows

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Artist: A Sunny Day In Glasgow

Album: Nitetime Rainbows

Label: Mis Ojos

Review date: Mar. 31, 2010


A Sunny Day In Glasgow - "Nitetime Rainbows (The Buddy System Remix)" (Nitetime Rainbows)


Few bands make the case for the continued viability of the album-as-a-format as A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Last year’s Ashes Grammar was one of a few records that seemed to be chiseled from a single block of sound. Yes, it’s easy to parse the record to single out the hits — “Failure and “Passionate Introverts (Dinosaurs)” — and sweep away seconds-long interstitials. Sitting down to take in the whole hour or so of the dreamy pop album showed just how strongly the songs were bound together. The true power of the band is in the way emotion and dynamics ebbs and flows over the course of a whole record. To think of Ashes Grammar in terms of just songs is to miss the forest for some admittedly lush trees.

Which makes the decision to release Nitetime Rainbows as an EP somewhat perplexing. The original “Nitetime Rainbows” originally appeared near the geographic center of Ashes Grammar, after the big peaks but before the dénouement. Here, it’s the leadoff as well as the centerpiece, given a shiny new mix that dissipates some of the hazy atmospherics for a more precise, mechanistic feel. Instead of being a piece of a larger puzzle, its edges are also rounded off to allow it to stand alone. There’s no continuity with the rest of the record in hopes of hitting it big by focusing on the single. The three new songs that appear afterward sound like afterthoughts. No connective tissue brings them all together like before. You would expect “Daytime Rainbows” to present some kind of flip side, but the relationship between the two songs only exists in name.

This is a gambit that might have paid off and gotten them into the singles game, but as it stands, “Nitetime Rainbows” wasn’t the right choice for an attempted break out. It’s pleasant enough, especially with the shift away from Broken Social Scene towards a dancier Cut Copy aesthetic, but it’s ultimately forgettable. The perfect connector for a full album, but not strong enough to hold its own.

The three remixes do nothing to help the situation either; all of them are even more aimless than the original. They make for decent enough ruminations, but without a framework to anchor them, each of them is fairly superfluous. Studies of a sketch that has not yet fully realized its potential itself.

This leaves the EP in a strange position. These songs are undoubtedly good when taken on their individual merits. It’d be hard to single them out as a step down. But if Ashes Grammar has proven anything, it’s that A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s music is never as strong when it stands alone.

By Evan Hanlon

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