Rebellious Jukebox: The Red House Painters
They are probably grouped together with someone under some umbrella movement by somebody who likes to categorise their music in that way but when I think of The Red House Painters I don’t think of them in connection with anyone else. They were doing something different and Mark Kozelek is still trying to do that. They have a lambent beauty, a gentleness and serenity to their music that was not present in that of many of their contemporaries. I have heard people dismiss the sound as depressing because it travels at a fairly slow speed but for me it just seems that the group have crafted the perfect framework for the most human and poetic of lyrics. ‘Shock Me’, ‘Grace Cathedral Park’, ‘The Katy Song”, just to name the first three tracks off of the Retrospective CD are songs that inhabit another world — the world of those evocative album covers. To say that they should occupy a larger place in the canon of American indie music is to express an idea that you at once feel it is right to voice and also something that makes you feel perversely glad because it’s not true — they are the kind of band that remain a secret that people stumble across; a backroad; a forgotten path; an untouched area of beauty. I love listening to them — they take me into a wonderful headspace.