THE EARLY PURPLE
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Rising Northumberland singer-songwriter – THE EARLY PURPLE – has released his majestic debut EP ‘Summer Hide’.
A current member of Little Comets, one-time player in The Dawdler and Grandfather Birds, plus the host of the popular ‘Hide & Speak’ podcast (which combines music and bird-watching with stars like Sam Fender, Richard Dawson + more), Matt has become a familiar presence in the north-east music scene. Now creating music under his own moniker, the ’Summer Hide’ EP is his first official solo release and comprises five spellbinding alternative-folk and chamber-pop songs. Inspired by the politics, people, and the natural world he sees around him, Saxon delivers a set of ornately observed songs filled with finely crafted arrangements and spacious atmospheres, that will seep into your soul.
The EP follows the release of recent single “Big Mistake”. Pairing some of his most political lyrics to date to a sparse soundscape, it makes for a quietly dramatic and hard-hitting cornerstone of The Early Purple’s debut EP. With its lyrics inspired by Matt’s encounters with real people, couplets like “drinking the port of Blyth, until the mind goes blind / P*ss on the door of the church as you walk back home” capture a stark snapshot of the state of affairs in a town that has lost its way; while its sparing guitar plucks and bare instrumentation only add to its underlying sense of desolation. Of its visceral subject matter, Matt Saxon aka explains:
“[Big Mistake] is probably the most political song I’ve written. It’s a social commentary about my hometown of Blyth, and how it recently turned blue after being Labour for as long as I remember. It’s a song about how small ex-mining/port towns like mine are left in ruin as residents are arguing amongst themselves about religion, politics and power and are just drinking their problems away… I never intended on writing from a political point of view but with the current situation of politics in our country, I wanted to comment on how it all makes me feel. A snapshot of the whole ordeal through my eyes, I suppose.”
“Big Mistake” swiftly follows The Early Purple’s recent release single “Summer Hide”; a folk and Americana-tinged song that soars like a shimmering sun emerging from behind the trees. Recalling the classic folk/pop songwriting of CSNY to laidback atmospheric creations of C Duncan, “Summer Hide” saw Saxon musing on the transformative power of being outdoors and the solace that can be found out in nature.
Lending its title to TEP’s upcoming debut EP ‘Summer Hide’, the 5-track release finds an artist grappling with intensely personal, and at times philosophical subjects, as he strives to create a collection that will resonate deeply with those who listen. As Matt explains of themes at play across the EP:
“I’m not writing about getting p**sed on a Friday night. 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), but it’s pretty oblique so people won’t listen and think: ‘this guy is writing about his old man’. A lot of the songs are actually quite miserable, but I like to think I’m quite an optimistic person. I like to put a spin on things so they’re a bit positive. You go through a big break-up, life feels like s**t… but I’d rather spin that around and write about my mates being incredible instead.”
The EP features members of The Early Purple’s live band Matt Hardy (drums/percussion) and Mark Broughton (keys), the track also features Matt’s brother Daniel (bass) as well as a host of friends and local musicians including Will Thorneycroft (harmonium/keys/guitar), Stu Walkinshaw (guitar) and Sarah Baron (vocals). Produced by long-time collaborator Will Thorneycroft (The Dawdler, Fax Machine, Lovely Assistant), it was recorded in Winter 2022/23 between Blank Studios in Newcastle, Matt’s house in Lynemouth and Will’s house in Whitley Bay.
An active member of the North East music scene for over a decade, Matt Saxon has cut his teeth on the live circuit while helping to bring other people’s musical endeavours to life. The multi-instrumentalist has performed at some of the UK’s best loved music venues and festivals whilst playing as a touring musician with the likes of Little Comets, The Dawdler and Grandfather Birds.
Having collected a catalogue of his own songs over the years, lockdown allowed Matt the spare time and freedom to truly start work on music of his own. The multi-instrumentalist released his first single as The Early Purple last year and “Old Eagle” gained airplay on BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing, also landing him a coveted support slot with Danish chamber-pop outfit Efterklang. Having played a sell-out headline show at Tynemouth’s Watch House Museum before even having released a second single, The Early Purple has since unveiled follow-up tracks “The Way of the Sufi” and “Sea of Heavy” and was recently featured as the cover-star of NARC Magazine.
Since 2021 Matt has also been hosting the ‘Hide & Speak’ podcast, chatting to a range of special guests whilst bird-watching in hides across rural Northumberland. To date the podcast has featured the likes of Sam Fender, Richard Dawson, Brooke Bentham and more.
Teasing his latest work at a large hometown show at Wylam Brewery in Newcastle earlier this month, The Early Purple is now pleased to present his debut EP ‘Summer Hide’. Stream the EP on all services here: https://singinglight.link/bigmistake
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My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.