Painted Shield features Stone Gossard, Mason Jennings, Matt Chamberlain and Brittany Davis
Painted Shield has released their sophomore album Painted Shield 2. They’ve also shared a new video for the song “Alien,” which includes notable footage of UFOs and highlights the group’s fascination with the phenomenon that continues to make headlines across the country. Painted Shield features Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, acclaimed songwriter Mason Jennings, Matt Chamberlain and Seattle soul prodigy Brittany Davis. The album is currently available to stream or download here.
Mason Jennings explains the story behind the song, writing “The lyrics for the song ‘Alien’ were written when I first met my wife Josie 5 years ago. She and I both love alien stories and love to watch documentaries and read articles about UFOs. I especially love the Zimbabwe Ariel school sighting (Google it!). The music for the song was written by Matt Chamberlain. When I heard his track I thought, this is perfect for these lyrics! That’s what they needed, Alien music! This whole album is filled with those kinds of collaborations. And let’s be real, Stone, Britt, Jeff, and Matt have to be aliens… I mean, that’s next level musicianship there! Otherworldly!”
Painted Shield has released a series of stunning live performance videos for songs on Painted Shield 2, including the singles “Drink The Ocean,” “Til God Turns The Lights On,” “Life In Rewind,” and the riff-heavy “Dead Man’s Dream.” The dynamic interplay of the group’s members is on full display, with the contributions of keyboardist and singer Brittany Davis expanding in particularly new sonic directions in the live setting. Davis is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and engineer based in Seattle. Davis identifies as non-binary and is also blind, and describes themself as “a vessel of sound” who experiences music in spirit and colours.
Commenting on Davis’ role in the group Gossard writes, “They’re just a phenomenal musician and a charming and energizing human being. They’re an incredible engineer, write the most bad-ass beats and can jam like a complete crazy person. They can fit in on any song and find a spot and be so powerful.”
Lead single “Dead Man’s Dream” was acclaimed by Loudwire, and Guitar World who raved that Painted Shield “returns sooner than expected, and with an altogether rockier edge – vocalists Mason Jennings and Brittany Davis really let rip, while Gossard indulges his love of The Who and Led Zeppelin with chunky Les Paul tones and windmill-worthy ringing chords.”
The group released their self-titled debut album in 2020 to wide acclaim from outlets including Rolling Stone, Consequence of Sound, Spin, The Seattle Times, and NPR’s All Songs Considered. The album was noted for its wide array of sonic textures, frenetic energy, and eclectic approach to songwriting, all of which are elevated to a new level on Painted Shield 2.
“It’s the assassination of the genre,” says Davis, pointing to a tracklist that includes full-throttle guitar rock (“Dead Man’s Dream”), nocturnal funk-pop (“Til God Turns the Lights On”), and percussive, synth-driven atmospherics (“Alien”). “We kill the idea that there’s a formula you’re supposed to follow,” Davis continues. “We make things our own. It’s like saying a word in another language, when the word in English doesn’t exist. Even if you can’t always translate it, you can still feel it.”
The four musicians, several of whom hadn’t even played together in person, tracked Painted Shield 2 at their respective home studios across America. Chamberlain, his tour dates as a member of Bob Dylan‘s band brought to a halt by the Covid-19 pandemic, found himself at home in Los Angeles, creating beats, instrumental beds, and looped soundscapes using drums and modular synthesizers. A thousand miles to the north, Gossard — still fresh from the upper reaches of the Billboard Top 200, where Pearl Jam’s eleventh album, Gigaton, had climbed to Number 5 in 2020 — was generating ideas of his own in a Seattle studio. Jennings added melodies and lyrics. Brittany Davis did the same, tossing funky bass parts and synthesized guitar solos into the mix. They both sang, too — sometimes separately, sometimes blending their voices into lockstep harmonies.
The result is an album that takes aim at the head, the heart, and the hips. It’s a mix of the electronic and the organic — a moody rock album that genuinely moves, from the funky fire and industrialized guitar strut that gives “Til God Turns the Lights On” its unique swagger to the garage-rock abandon that supercharges “Falling Out of the Sky.” That sense of movement can be soft and deliberate, too. “Life in Rewind” is a fever dream of a slow-simmering soul song — equal parts gospel grace, 1960s R&B spirit, and dreamy reverb — and “White” is a leisurely piece of left-field folk, laced with watercolour streaks of digital noise.
“I’m so inspired by working with such inspiring, creative people,” says Jennings. “I’ve been releasing albums for nearly 25 years, but I haven’t done anything like this before. It’s very much an active project, too. We’re halfway through ‘Album Three’ already.”
Painted Shield 2 Tracklist:
01) Drink The Ocean
03) Til God Turns The Lights On
04) Bird’s Nest
05) Fourth of July
06) Dead Man’s Dream
07) Life In Rewind
08) Fallin’ Out Of The Sky
10) Full Moon In Daylight