- David Bentley
The Slow Painters – 'Egon' (single from forthcoming debut album)
Oslo’s The Slow Painters say their roots are in Britpop although they have “since ventured deeper and deeper into the indie rock songbook.” They describe themselves as “purveyors of unpopular popular music since 2004” and go so far as to compare themselves to those scouse scallies The La’s. Well, there they go. Perhaps they should be the Osla’s.
In fact I can hear that era in their sound, they evoke a little Blur as well and even Pulp in the more frenetic moments towards the end of this song.
Now having said that, it is difficult to pin down their style absolutely. ‘Egon’ opens with a distant, in-the-next-door-studio-when-the-door-is-opened sample of a song I felt I should know but I didn’t only for it become evident a minute or so later that it is this song. Then the jangly guitars come in, to a vocal that’s somewhere between Dylan and Johnny Cash. Then it could be Roy Orbison. The unusually voiced singer (Andreas Lindvåg) could make a living as an impersonator if this project goes pear-shaped. Not that it is likely to; they’ve been around for 16 years.
In this section the time signature changes to that of a slow lament then suddenly it takes off again in another different direction with the same intensity as, say ‘Common People’ interrupted by one hell of a heavy guitar break. But never losing its underlying melody.
Then, to cap it all, there’s that little laughing spoken aside at the end which you often find on Scandi indie rock songs – Sløtface are notorious for it - which could be anything from ‘thank f*** that’s over’ to ‘anyone for a cup of tea?’
‘Egon’ needs to be heard a couple of times for it to make an impression. With just one it could go over your head. And it will do. Make an impression, that is.
Note to BBC4 watchers who like background detail. ‘Egon’ was inspired by a reproduction of a self-portrait by Egon Schiele, which used to hang in Andreas’ bedroom and it is a snapshot of a pompous young man seeing himself through the self-depiction of another. So there you go.
The Slow Painters' debut LP is due out on Keepsecretrecords in August/September.
Find them on Facebook or Bandcamp.
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