A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s Ashes Grammar was the rare album that not only worked most strongly as a whole, but actually flowed seamlessly as one extensive piece of music. The Philadelphia dream pop outfit pieced together gorgeously glimmering pop songs with abstract, yet gorgeous instrumental interludes, creating a symphony of electronic textures and shoegazer sounds. Which isn’t to say there weren’t individual highlights-“Failure” and “Close Chorus” were two of the album’s most instantly powerful tracks, while “Nitetime Rainbows,” one of the most densely constructed and complex, is the A-side on the band’s new EP, which also lines up three remixes of the title track with three unreleased B-sides.
Spanning a half-hour in length, Nitetime Rainbows is practically a full-length release by some bands’ standards, and though it’s still somewhat abbreviated in comparison to A Sunny Day’s epic last album, it features a substantial offering of dream pop delights. The title track is a heady and wonderful introduction, which continues with “Daytime Rainbows,” a much shorter and more rock-sounding track that provides its companion track an upbeat complement. Meanwhile, “So Bloody, So Tight” is an ethereal delight with a persistent, pulsating beat, and “Pianos Lessons” juxtaposes a detuned piano against throbbing electronic waves, eventually breaking for the sound of a simple piano exercise. Closing out the EP are three remixes of the title track, the first being the Buddy System Remix, which opts for a series of hypnotic loops, while Benoit Pioulard’s Acid Wash Remix takes a heavy layer of distortion to everything, making for a decidedly more chaotic, but ultimately more satisfying take. Rounding these out is Ezekiel Honig’s take, which distills the song down to its barest elements-a handclap, some guitar shimmer, a simple breath-turning it from song to meditation.
Though Nitetime Rainbows is only a small sliver of A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s trippy, sparkling melodic experience, it’s nonetheless a compelling entry in the Philly group’s discography. In the hands of others, their songs become new and fascinating constructs, less about danceability than abstract art presentation. But it’s the band’s own source material, four dazzling and beautiful compositions, that truly make this 30-minute head-trip a treat.
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Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.