Painted Hills, “Painted Hills” (Bird Song/Parasol) — Singer-guitarist Josh Schwartz’s solo project (formerly known as Bolero) splashes down with a well-crafted batch of paisley psych-pop that feels like the soundtrack to the best possible hippie dream. Schwartz, who has played in Beachwood Sparks, Further and the Tyde and has toured with John Cale and the Charlatans UK’s Tim Burgess, is joined here by Joe Bourdet, Jon Leahy and Richard Gowen, among others. The result is classic Laurel Canyon-meets-dreampop, drenched in melody, dripping with reverb, seasoned with twang and tasty harmonies. The double-vinyl version of the album includes covers of songs by Emitt Rhodes and Rain Parade. If only psych-pop’s past always sounded this fresh. Recommended.
||| Download: “Kaleidoscope Eyes”
||| Bonus download: A cover of Big Star’s “Nighttime” (a non-album track)