THE MORNING LINE – Scene

The Morning Line’s 2019 LP, ‘North’, was an absolutely terrific album. Reawakening the sounds of ‘Girlfriend’ era Matthew Sweet, Soul Asylum’s best major label recordings and even a the productions of Sean Slade & Paul Q. Kolderie, it felt like a musical love letter to the 1990s. Retro, yet still somehow fresh, it’s melodic and jangly songs really captured the best of the band’s obvious talents.

Three years on, their first release for Justine Couvault’s Red On Red Records is another musical treat. A seven song collection, ‘Scene’ taps into the “mini album” format – something that seems to have been overlooked since the early 90s – which means there’s far less opportunity for the listener’s attention to wander, but still enough scope for a little variety along the way.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Home Fires Burning: A Holiday Compilation From Red On Red Records

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Christmas music, and those who don’t. For the former, December can be a brilliantly nostalgic time, with various staples – Nat ‘King’ Cole’s ‘The Christmas Song’, Mike Oldfield’s ‘In Dulce Jubilo’ and the contents of Phil Spector’s ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ – helping to reawaken thoughts of yesteryear. For the festive music fan, there’s always time to discover something new, of course, and Justine Couvault’s Red On Red label brings something extra to the yuletide table with ‘Home Fires Burning’. In mixing the traditional with the unexpected, it manages to be quite broad in appeal and cover a lot of ground, despite only featuring five tracks.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Red On Red Hots: Year One Compilation

Throughout their first year in business, Justine Couvault’s Red On Red Records gave a platform to various great underground bands. The acts were often of the power pop or garage rock variety, but the coming together of the label and the largely US based acts provided a lot of entertainment during its first twelve months and often felt like a sister project to the equally fun Rum Bar label.

A few digital releases by Justine And The Unclean continued to give their fans enjoyable hook-driven sounds beyond their two excellent full length/EP releases, and label favourites Kid Gulliver more than showed how old style power pop will never die. With these artists providing something of a backbone, the label couldn’t fail, but their first year brought so much more. ‘Red On Red Hots’ pulls together seventeen tracks from the Red On Red stable, placing the familiar with the new, creating a perfect introduction for anyone who hasn’t yet stumbled across any of their releases, as well as a treat for fans looking for a couple of new tracks.

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Listen: Real Gone’s New Release Round-Up – April-June 2021

It seems unbelievable that we’re now half way through the year, but here we are. We discovered and shared a truckload of new music during the first quarter, half expecting things to fizzle out as we moved towards the northern hemisphere summer, but it really wasn’t the case. If anything, the year’s second quarter was every bit as strong.

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