Down Colorful Hill

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Down Colorful Hill
Studio album by Red House Painters
Released September 14, 1992
Recorded 1989–1991
Genre Slowcore
Length 43:35
Language English
Label 4AD
Producer Mark Kozelek
Red House Painters chronology
Down Colorful Hill
Red House Painters
(1993)Red House Painters1993

Down Colorful Hill is the debut studio album by American slowcore band Red House Painters, released on September 14, 1992 by the record label 4AD.


As was done with the debuts of previous 4AD artists like Pixies, Lush, and His Name Is Alive, the album is made up of demos that were slightly remixed for general release. In Martin Aston's book Facing the Wrong Way: The Story of 4AD, Mark Kozelek expressed regret over the reverb- and echo-heavy mixing techniques he employed. The song "Waterkill", which dates from the same sessions but not included here, later appeared on the compilation Retrospective in un-remixed form, giving listeners an idea of the original demos' rawer sound.

A music video was produced for the song "24", directed by Mark Taylor.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B−[2]
Pitchfork 8.2/10[3]
Q 4/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[5]

Down Colorful Hill has generally been well received by critics.

AllMusic wrote "the group has already reached full maturity; these lengthy, ponderous songs are remarkably evocative portraits of a distinctly tortured psyche – Mark Kozelek forgoes the camouflage of metaphor to lay his soul on the line, and the honesty of his craft is both beautiful and disturbing".[1] Stereogum wrote in a 2012 article that the album "sounds dated and immature; the work of a nascent artist who didn't trust his own voice, didn't know his way around a studio and wasn't entirely confident on the guitar. [...] But good lord, what an album."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mark Kozelek.

No. Title Length
1. "24" 6:47
2. "Medicine Bottle" 9:49
3. "Down Colorful Hill" 10:51
4. "Japanese to English" 4:42
5. "Lord Kill the Pain" 6:03
6. "Michael" 5:23

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom September 14, 1992 4AD CD (first pressings came in a digipak sleeve) CAD 2014 CD
LP CAD 2014
July 6, 1998 CD (reissue) GAD 2014 CD
United States September 15, 1992 Warner Bros. Records CD 9 45062-2
November 2, 1999 4AD CD (reissue) GAD 2014 CD


  1. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Down Colorful Hill – Red House Painters". AllMusic. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ Berger, Arion (November 27, 1992). "Down Colorful Hill". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (May 6, 2015). "Red Hot Painters: Box Set". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ Mason, Matt (September 2015). "Master Strokes". Q (350): 118–19. 
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 682. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Michael (June 12, 2012). "Mark Kozelek Albums from Worst to Best Red House Painters – Down Colorful Hill – Stereogum". Stereogum. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]