My "On Mondays I listen to..." album of the week is The Old Paints' newest single, Girl (October 2016). Girl is the band's latest release, following their successful 2015 album This Machine. Fans of the band's previous work will be delighted with Girl and its yummy pop-y, garage-y, rock & roll-y goodness. If you haven't heard Girl, This Machine, or any of The Old Paints' releases yet, drop everything and listen now.
The Old Paints are a pure pop/indie/garage/rock n' roll band from Birmingham, Alabama. Since 2013, Breely Flower (vocals/drums/percussion/acoustic guitar) and Andy Harris (vocals/electric guitar/acoustic guitar) have toured the country, playing hundreds of shows together. Known as "the band with the girl who plays the log", The Old Paints embrace the vibe of 60s garage pop while including their own twangy southern influence. The fusion of sound makes for a psychedelic, slide guitar filled trance.
The Old Paints' Girl is presented as a two-sided single. Both sides include the song "Girl", but with Side B the listener gets a special treat - an instrumental version of the catchy track. Girl is full of distorted, dirty guitars, demanding drums, and pretty-yet-gritty vocals, reminding listeners of artists such as The Velvet Underground, or even the Nashville scene and Jack White's Third Man Records empire.
Side A "Girl" - 02:12
"She falls in ash from outer space
Poison for the human race
Dissolving what's left of your brain
Sweater and a red lip stain
Tell me baby it's not true
Her eyes are glazed over in glue
Tell me baby it's not so
I would hate to see you go
Running yourself all over town
Driving it into the ground
She knows that she's got you all unwound
I watch but I don't make a sound"
The Old Paints' "Girl" opens with a crunchy slide guitar, pounding floor toms, and Breely Flower's belting vocals. Flower's voice sails above the track, commanding an all-listening audience. As the song grows, so does her voice. With each verse, Flower's vocals become increasingly raw and emotion-filled. At 01:37 Flower's strong voice transforms into an angry and frustrated yell that seems to finally release the built tension of the track. A flawless formula for a memorable song.
The guitar of "Girl" is twang-heavy and absolutely perfect for the song. Like the vocals, the guitar grows with time. While straight chords add to the thickness of the mix, the lead guitar constantly plays riffs around the progression with plenty of slides and bends that make the listener totally dig it. At 01:12, the guitar really begins to let loose with jumps to a higher octave, feedback, and experimental playing on the neck to create a psychedelic, reverberated, and dirty atmosphere.
The drums and bass have a tight grip on the song, allowing the guitar to embrace the freedom that it does. While somewhat simplistic, the rhythm section is not at all boring. Floor toms and snare hits carry the beat but are prolific in knowing when to switch it up, with exploding cymbals and off-beat rhythms like at 01:28.
"Girl" ends with feedback on the guitar and a final slide up the neck, creating a not-from-this-world whistle/alien ray gun effect.
Side B "Girl (Taylor Time)" - 02:16
Second verse, same as the first...
Side B of Girl is an instrumental version of "Girl", featuring Taylor Hollingsworth on guitar. Don't skip this side. Listen and love getting the best of both worlds. The Old Paints made a wise choice by including an instrumental version of "Girl". Both the overall song and the guitar track deserve it.
Highlight Moments of "Girl (Taylor Time)":
00:00 - The opening slide guitar sets the tone for the entire song.
01:13 - Distorted, high pitched pick slide(?) on the guitar.
01:25 - Off beat drums to switch it up. Simple, but genius.
01:37-02:16 - Guitar solo crunch.
Press play, sink into the couch, close your eyes, and drift to another world with The Old Paints' Girl. The band's single is a satisfying combination of psychedelic garage angst for the desiring mind. Girl once again confirms The Old Paints' talent and confidence in both their performance and identifying sound.
The Old Paints' Girl is available for streaming and digital download on Spotify and iTunes. The album is also available to purchase as a cassette tape from The Old Paints' online store.
Support The Old Paints and artists like them. Listen to, share, buy their music, and go to their shows.
You might just find your new favorite band.
I am now accepting submissions for music reviews! Read how to submit here.
(The photos featured above are not mine and belong to the respected photographers and artists.)