The Painted Hearts were formed in Canberra, Australia in 2005. P.R.Davis wrote the songs, sang and played guitar, Matt Nightingale played bass and Kevin Nicol played drums. Owen Andrews joined the band on bass following Nightingale’s departure from the band in March 2007.
Essentially a live band, improvisational and loose, a self titled debut album The Painted Hearts (released in 2008) was recorded in a one day session at Infidel Studios in September 2007.
By 2011 Matt Nightingale was back in the band on bass and Canadian jazzman Mike Oakley had filled the spot Nicol had vacated on drums. That year also saw the release of a second album Volume 2. Recorded in pretty much the same spirit as the first album, albeit with more of a minimalist sound and sensibility using just two microphones, tracks were again put down relatively quickly this time at Canberra’s Cowperson Lounge.
Volume 3, with the use of a bit, but not much more technology during recording ie more mics, was released in January 2015 noting a further lineup change in Davis and Nightingale being joined by Rick Millband who’d taken over the drum chair in 2012.
Over the last couple of years live sightings of the band have been something of a rarity, however Davis now based in Melbourne along with current band members John Milton – drums, Zoe Frater – bass and Matt Dixon – guitar, will be playing a series of shows over the coming months and recording the next volume of tracks scheduled for later in the year.
“..The Painted Hearts, like the late and lamented Morphine, play low end minimalist quasi blues-jazz with a sly bureaucratic bent…” Bronius Zumeris, Beat Magazine
“Volume 3 largely maintains the style of the early albums, with the band’s own brand of murky, roots influenced music. Songs drift at a low-tempo pace, while songwriter Davis drops lyrics like ash from a cigarette…”
Rory McCartney, BMA Magazine
“..dusty and unhurried and full of unfiltered personality…” Martin Jones, Rhythms Magazine
“…original and raw – and very refreshing…” Chris Johnson, The Age, Canberra Times, SMH