American indie rockers The Districts have announced the release of their fifth studio album, Great American Painting. It’s a quick turnaround for the band, who released their previous album, You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere, in March of 2020.
“While we were there I spent some time driving near all these crazy rivers and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and I was mesmerized by how those unspoiled landscapes really capture a timeless idea of what America is,” he explains. “I’d just come from taking part in the protests in Philly and getting tear-gassed, and it felt so strange to go between those two extremes. In a way this album is asking, ‘What is the great American painting? Is it police brutality, or is it this beautiful landscape?’ And the truth is it’s all of that.”
Ruminating on the true makeup of America is an idea that stretches back as far as America itself, with writers as diverse as Kerouac to Morrison to Steinbeck to Wright to Thompson all finding their own interpretations moulded by their life experiences. Am I expecting this level of profundity from an indie rock record? Not nearly, but a boy can dream I suppose.
The album’s announcement also comes with the first preview in the form of the new song ‘I Want To Feel It All’. More heavily electronic and processed than most of the band’s work so far, The Districts appear to be sliding into the Strokes/Arctic Monkeys mould by growing bored of scratchy guitars and adopting anonymous synth music instead.
“‘I Want To Feel It All’ is about feeling everything possible all at once, and emotional fireworks and loving the universe and everyone in it. But it also saves room for being about death and the darkness underlying all existence, and forgiveness and pain and acceptance.
The video takes place in the twilit Pennsylvania hills, where we perform with fireworks in the ever-fleeting present this song seeks to grasp. The surreal undertone to the video represents the detached dreamlike world this song lives in, while the unspoiled American landscape is a symbol of idealism and the natural mystery that inspires our work.”
Check out the video for ‘I Want To Feel It All’ down below. Great American Painting is set for a February 4 release.