Great American Painting

Great American Painting

Like so much art created during the pandemic, the fifth album from Philly indie rockers The Districts was born in isolation, after singer/guitarist Rob Grote took a wood-cabin retreat in Washington state. Great American Painting is his attempt to reconcile two conflicting visions of America: the chaotic political minefield that we see on the nightly news, and the natural bucolic wonderland he experienced in the wilderness. So while the songs here judder with ripped-from-the-headlines relevancy, they also brim with wide-eyed energy: “No Blood” surveys a paranoid, gun-obsessed culture through an ebullient sing-along that splits the difference between The Shins and MGMT, while “White Devil” is a mocking portrait of privilege delivered as a dust-kicking rock ’n’ roll rave-up. But for all its social critique and satire, Great American Painting climaxes with the heartfelt “I Want to Feel It All,” a rousing synth-pop anthem that preaches compassion and forgiveness as a means to heal a troubled world.

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