LISTEN: Painted Faces Share “Laughing Charlie”

ESP-Disk debut Normal Street out now

David Drucker of Painted Faces (Image: ESP-Disk)

Legendary indie label ESP-Disk is primarily known for its esteemed free jazz titles.

However, as any fans of the Holy Modal Rounders and The Fugs will immediately attest, the New York label has also had its hand in the world of experimental and psychedelic rock as well. It’s a tradition that continues with the recent signing of Brooklyn’s Painted Faces, whose wild new album Normal Street was released in April. 

“For years I emphasized ESP’s free-jazz side, but five years ago I realized that aside from Arborea/Buck Curran, I’d given short shrift to ESP’s ‘weird rock’ contributions and had to up my game in that regard,” proclaims ESP label manager and Rock & Roll Globe contributor Steve Holtje. “As soon as I heard Painted Faces, I knew they were one of the most ESP-ish bands advancing that style. The amusingly named Normal Street is PF’s second album for the label, and Drucker’s vision continues to expand.”

Painted Faces Normal Street, ESP-Disk 2023

We are indeed thrilled to share one of the key compositions from Normal Street today on the site as we present “Laughing Charlie,” a heady slice of dubbed out sounds that mimic the a field recording from another planet.

“It’s a deep bedroom drone…dealing with internal catharsis, a total aha psychedelic breakthrough moment, very fleeting, a series of thoughts that cannot be fully grasped,” explains Painted Faces svengali David Drucker. “In technical terms, it’s me feeding a keyboard drone that I recorded on my phone through my guitar pickups and manipulated live. Charlie was my old neighbor in the room next to me at Skinny Apartment for many years.”

Normal Street walks a super fine line between conventional songcraft and improvisational abandon that will no doubt leave its listener returning for repeated listens.

Check out “Laughing Charlie” below.




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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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