LP / Digital Download
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Available through the Helen Scarsdale Agency: $15.00
RV Paintings were born in California. Humboldt County, to be exact. It is nearly impossible to imagine their origins being elsewhere since the brothers Brian and Jon Pyle, who currently pilot RV Paintings, constantly mine the metaphysical properties of their homeland through a heavy-lidded psychedelia. The redwood trees that majestically rise from the rugged terrain may have been one of the endemic objects that inspired RV Paintings to "jam nature;" but Humboldt County's other major cash crop -- marijuana -- cannot be far behind. As much as the Pyle brothers channel a psychotropic animism through sound, their diaphanous drones and foggy ambient tangles spring from a schematic intelligence that belies any method acting of getting stoned and jamming in a room.
Samoa Highway is the second full album for RV Paintings, following the nature jam transmissions of Trinity Rivers published by Root Strata in 2007 and a well-suited split LP with Taiga Remains from Blackest Rainbow. Just as the debut payed homage to the rugged river system that cuts through forests and mountains of the region, Samoa Highway refers to the lengthy bridge that runs between two coastal communities in Humboldt County, one of which houses a municipal airport. A swarm of drone guitars announces the opening of the record on "Millions," with a shoegaze wash collapsing into rarified tone purity and bulging through a metallic buzz. Field recordings of airplane take-off and firework explosions punctuate the undulating bleary smear of the Pyle brothers' guitars. The result is one of levitation, even as RV Paintings seem to be plugging their guitars and electronics directly into the moss, soil, and mycelia of the Humboldt forest. Echo-soaked flutes, maudlin strings, scabrous noises unearthed from the bottom of the Pacific, and a cinematic arcs of guitar shimmer complete the beautiful and haunted miasma of Samoa Highway that falls somewhere between Taj Mahal Travellers, Organum, and The Caretaker.
Brian Pyle may be best known as one of the founders of the Starving Weirdos and records his solo work as Ensemble Economique. Jon Pyle has worked in Nudge with recordings for Kranky, Tigerbeat 6, and others.