Painted Shield features Stone Gossard, Mason Jennings, Matt Chamberlain, and Brittany Davis
Painted Shield has returned with a new song “Dead Man’s Dream,” the first single from their upcoming sophomore album. The group, which features Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, acclaimed songwriter Mason Jennings, Matt Chamberlain, and Seattle soul prodigy Brittany Davis, has announced the release of their new record Painted Shield 2 for April 22nd, via Loosegroove Records. The album is currently available to pre-save here.
“This one started as a classic Stone Gossard riff,” writes Jennings of “Dead Man’s Dream.” “Matt and Brit ripped into it with a vengeance. The lyrics were originally from a folk song I had been working on for a few years. I wondered how it would work to lay the folk lyrics against that heavy rock bed. Felt good. Then we all sang in the choruses and channeled our love for Van Halen.”
Painted Shield 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 is elevated to a new level on Painted Shield 2.
“It’s the assassination of genre,” says Davis, pointing to a track list 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 watercolor 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