Charmingly psychedelic, folk album from Montreal-based group.
The Painters are an indie-folk, rock group based in Montreal. They’ve previously released songs on cassette; however, this record represents their proper debut. The album is focused around the songs of Alex Bourque. It was co-produced by Josh Boguski (Whitney K) and Michael Halls (Telstar Drugs, Faux Fur) in the same space and at same the time as the Whitney K record ‘Two Years‘. Boguski says that, in some senses, he considers the two LPs to be “sibling albums”. Boguski and Halls also played on the album, with the ensemble being completed by Alex Lavoie, a classically trained percussionist.
The album opens with ‘Sun Never Sets’, which is an endearing song. It commences with an acoustic strum before electric guitar solos break out. ‘Broken Mirror’ features a violin recorded through a vintage amp with the tremolo turned up, which resonates in the background in a John Cale like manner. Many of the songs touch on relationships and love in an enigmatic but charming way. ‘Can’t You Tell’ fits into this category, with the video featuring two people twirling around in large bags with what looks like newspaper print on them.
‘Somewhere’ features some great jangly guitar and a line that maybe sums the album up both sonically and lyrically, ‘I don’t know the answer, but I can imagine’. ‘Blinding Light’ commences with Bourque confessing ‘Honesty, please forgive me, Nothing I say can undo the hurt I’ve done, Reaching my hands for the ceiling, My white flag’s my own disregard for anyone’. The song shuffles along agreeably until part way through it shifts gear before returning to an engaging rhythm. The album ends with ‘Rolling Thunder’ which muses on the integrity of relationships and culminates with Bourque singing ‘I’ve never been as far away, As the truth feels today, I have nothing more to say’.
The record is accompanied by a visual album. Each video is a wonderful collage of colourful, sometimes kaleidoscopic, sometimes psychedelic images which have been produced by 10 different animators and artists. The film fits the album’s songs perfectly. It’s well worth 40 minutes of your time, and, as you watch the visuals unfold, there’s no need to ingest anything to be taken to a different place.