Northumberland artist The Early Purple AKA Matt Saxon releases his debut EP `The Summer Hide` this month. Matt is also a member of Little Comets, The Dawdler and Grandfather Birds and the host of the ‘Hide & Speak’ podcast (which combines music and birdwatching with guests such as Sam Fender and Richard Dawson).

Speaking about this release Matt has shared that “I’m writing about things that are incredibly meaningful to me. A lot of the EP is inspired by my Dad (who sadly passed away in 2020)”.

`Intro` leads us in and it’s a gently shared offering which is mainly piano led with a quietly shared vocal and accompanying harmony. A tender reflective opener. Title track `Summer Hide` begins with a harmonium and is a musing on the transformative power of being outdoors and the solace that can be found out in nature. Another captivating listen that does feel almost liberating as if nature or the open space can cleanse one`s soul.

`The Morning` is faster paced and opens with an intricate guitar chord riff with a rolling drumbeat but again is a fairly forceful submission that is delightfully introspective. We have social commentary on `Big Mistake` which is about the artist`s hometown of Blyth, and how it recently turned blue after being Labour for as long as he remembers. A song about how small ex-mining/port towns like his are left in ruin as residents are arguing amongst themselves about religion, politics and power and are just drinking their problems away. A delightfully heartfelt composition sung almost in a detached quite unemotive approach which to me ensured it had a much more cutting edge.

This brief offering closes out with `Giant` which was relatively stripped back with strummed guitar and vocals with occasional harmonies which gave it a charming intensity.  

Matt sang lead vocals, and played xylophone, Fender Rhodes, piano, van door, percussion along with acoustic and electric guitar on this extended play. He was supported in bringing his vision to life with the assistance of Will Thorneycroft who supplied strings, keys, harmonium, and additional guitars. His brother Daniel Saxon bass, Matt Hardy drums and percussion, Sarah Barron additional vocals, Stu Walkinshaw additional guitars and Andrew McKenzie who played flute on `The Morning`.

This was such an enjoyable listen and left me wanting so much more.

If you enjoy the intensity of artists such as Nick Drake, Damien Rice, and Matthew Jay, i`m sure you`ll love Matt Saxon and The Early Purple.  

Rating 9 /10

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