Hear Ex-Q and Not U Duo Paint Branch’s Strummy Homecoming Plaint ‘I Wanna Live’
From John Davis and Chris Richards' new album of the same name, due January 8
You can never go home again, but we can never completely escape the places that shaped us, either. Paint Branch, the duo of former Q and Not U members Chris Richards and John Davis, already left behind the dance-y post-punk of their beloved Washington, D.C., band on richly Laurel Canyon-tinged “Brighton Beach,” the first track from their new project’s debut album, I Wanna Live (due out on January 8). Our latest glimpse of the album, the title track, doesn’t stray too far from the same low-key, harmony-filled, acoustic-based terrain, but lyrically it finds Richards “running wild in my birthplace.” What he can’t remember is why. Though Richards eventually confesses he “never wanted to leave” — right before Davis rips a delicate albeit searing guitar solo — in the end he acknowledges ruefully, “It’s a love we know we’ll never get back / And it’s making a fool of us.” Nothing foolish about it.