A contemporary take on that old time country sound.
We’ve long been fans of No Oil Paintings, since catching Chris Kelly, George Sloan and Sean and James Doone jamming in Bangor’s Rabbit Rooms in one of their first performances with vocalist Bronagh Broderick. We raved about them then and we’ve been foot-tapping along to the songs in our heads patiently awaiting a debut record for what seems much longer than the solitary year these old souls on young shoulders have been on the scene. No Oil Paintings is the band. ‘No Oil Paintings’ is the EP. No Oil Paintings is a euphemism for the brutal and ugly by damn this four track recording is a real thing of beauty.
Travelling tunes and songs of escapism have long been themes in country and folk music. On the EP opener ‘Exodus’ virtues of running off down south are extolled. It’s up to you where your south is. Maybe you’re leaving Lincoln County for Santa Fe or maybe fleeing those hot summer nights in Belfast City for the lush green hills of Wicklow. Wherever you wander, this old time string band tune should be lingering in your ears.
‘Orphans’ Lullaby’ takes us down from the mountain and into yonder plains where we’re having our very own current day depression. We’re lacking a dustbowl or a steady stream of Okies and Arkies in our drab grey concrete wasteland but gosh darn, right here, we got ourselves a country song y’all. Waylon Jennings once questioned ‘Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?’ Well, with it’s solemn swing, rousing cracked melody and that high and lonesome fiddle wail, this is just the way the good ole boys done ‘em.