Recorded in two sessions throughout July 2021 and March 2022, this album is the first to feature the group’s most recent member Peter Foley on synthesizers, and guest vocalist Eva Patterson on opening track “Threshold.” Mixed by Dalton Allison (Post Animal) and Patrick Stolley (Futureappletree Studio Too), Painting By Numbers twists the group’s signature psychedelic sound into an atmosphere of fuzzy, distorted shoegaze. This album meticulously layers saccharine, philosophical vocals with heady guitar tones, steadfast yet varied bass lines, and powerful drums that frequently build into a shimmering wash of synthesizers.
Lyrically, each song on Painting By Numbers is searching and introspective, at times evoking religious imagery and frequently expressing a restless but determined sense of motion. For example, the song “Let It Slide” culminates the band repeating “I just can’t seem to let it be” before a rush of instrumentals closes the song, and the album is replete with motifs of wheels, breezes, and doors discussed over thrumming, repetitive drum and bass lines.
However, as choreographer Pina Bausch once said, “Repetition is not repetition…The same action makes you feel something completely different by the end.” This album is an incredible example of that effect, and each moment of repetition on Painting By Numbers is followed by a break in pattern that acts as a release of tension and masterfully articulates a fresh change in the album’s direction.
In “Liquid Cure,” they croon of a lover being “lost in the grand design.” Such a statement is reminiscent of the experience of listening to this album, an ecstatic blur of shoegaze-y melodies which break down to reveal songs that are structural, detailed, and complex—a work of art painted by numbers. The result is an album that is spiritual, intoxicating, reflective, catchy, and surely In The Pines’ most nuanced work to date.
Painting By Numbers, In The Pines’ latest release, was recorded at Futureappletree Studio Too by engineer Patrick Stolley. Produced by In The Pines, the group features Michael Shular (Guitar/Vocals), Charlie Horn (Guitar/Vocals), Alex Dungan (Drums/Vocals).
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.