This is music to lose yourself in. With ‘Rolling Thunder’, Montreal-based indie-folk group The Painters deliver a truly atmospheric and absorbing song, elevated by timeless vocals and harmonies. Swirls of pedal steel rise up, a retro sound buoyed by electric guitar, creating something familiar, yet dynamic and fresh. The impressive way the song builds in psychedelic layers, the sound swelling and flowing, becomes apparent in the moments when much of the instrumentation falls away again, demonstrating the band’s excellent songcraft. The band offers captivating, thought-provoking themes and lyrics, such as this line from ‘Rolling Thunder’ about the integrity of relationships: “I’ve never been as far away, As the truth feels today.”
The video, created by band-member Josh Boguski, reinforces the the song’s cosmic feel, with hypnotic images pulsing and mesmerising throughout, like a musical kaleidoscope of colour. It’s a diptych, which means that there are two scenes presented alongside one another and that interplay adds to the sense of being immersed in the band’s world. Boguski co-produced the album, alongside bandmate Michael Halls, at the same time as he was also working on inventive, compelling music with his other band Whitney K. Check out our 10/10 review (a rare score indeed) of the Whitney K album ‘Hard to be a God’ here.
‘Rolling Thunder’ is from The Painters’ self-titled debut album, which was recorded at the band’s home studio and was five years in the making. The quality of the songwriting shows it was worth the wait – see our review of the album here. The name The Painters reflects the fact that the songs are full of warmth, light and colour, and the band’s approach and attention to detail is so vivid. The new record is accompanied by a self-produced ‘visual album’, featuring mesmerising videos for each song, each created by different artists and animators. It’s a visual feast and well-worth devoting the time to exploring the band members’ imaginations – you can see the whole thing here. Be absorbed.