Recommended Listening: Nico Hedley - Painterly
Here's an album that wasn't on my radar at all, but last Friday, when a bunch of acquaintances posted about Nico Hedley's Painterly on IG, I decided I should probably give it a listen. After all, who better to recommend new music than musicians you appreciate?
Embarrassingly, when I read "Nico Hedley" I thought "Nico Muhly" and was shocked that the classical music composer took such an abrupt turn towards alt-country. Painterly didn't sound like Planetarium one bit! But a few songs in, I figured it out, and fell right into Hedley's world - one which is grounded in everyday moments, but sonically reaches some pretty incredible heights.
There are many impressive elements on Painterly, but the first to stand out is Hedley's voice. With a Buck Meek tone, he delivers lines about the mundane and the vulnerable with such sincerity. Sometimes in a hush, and sometimes bellowing out, Hedley's passionate first-person storytelling is absolutely engaging. But the arrangements are just amazing (eat your heart out, Nico Muhly). As a song climbs, more instruments are introduced (drums! slide! horns!), until the players have matched Hedley's euphoria. This LOUD/soft dynamism across Painterly is another characteristic that makes this album so special. If you, like me, are a slightly embarrassed Pinegrove fan, this is music you'll want to hear. Also, it's better than Pinegrove. Check out a favorite track below.
We don't often cover music like Hedley's on DC, but trust us, Painterly is so so so good. You can find it on Bandcamp through this link, and enjoy!