[sic] Magazine

Painted Shrines – Heaven And Holy

Like the first snowdrops of the season, Jeremy Earl’s creaky, optimistic falsetto has the power to melt all but the coldest of hearts, the suggestion that spring may be on the horizon as welcome as Heaven And Holy, the debut album from the Woods frontman and Glenn Donaldson under the name Painted Shrines. Earl and Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards and others, including The Reds, Pinks, & Purples, whose new shambling LP is shaping up to be a beauty) have previous together, first collaborating on 2011 Woods album Sun & Shade, Jeff Moller of The Papercuts here contributing bass too.

And, unsurprisingly, pitting Earl’s sun-dappled melodies alongside Donaldson’s slack jangles and toybox FX makes for pleasant company, this lightly psychedelic dose of alt-folk-informed indie being led astray only gently by an undercurrent of DIY, mid-fi distortion.

What follows is a laidback, sub-30-minute stream of succinct nearly-pop, serene 60s shuffles meeting effortlessly breezy pool-party jams, dreamy instrumentals toasted by fuzzy guitar scree. Blissful scales and oddball dalliances are tastefully arranged so as not to derail the almost ambient vibe, synth buzz and acoustic chords making things a touch chillier as the sun goes down. Almost wistful as a consequence, Heaven And Holy is a postcard from the hopefully near-future, a portrait of the intimate normality we all hope to get back to soon, the simple soundtrack to having a couple of beers and a BBQ with friends.

Best track: “Saturates The Eye”

~Heaven And Holy is released 5th March 2021 via Woodsist.~