“I’m hearing you say, ‘not enough is ok.’ Well it’s not… I’m with the Painted People.”
2019 saw the release of The Ritualists’ glorious debut album, Painted People, a shimmering kaleidoscope of glamour and fire. The Ritualists can best be described as “gothic art-rock,” both in sound and in style. Songwriter Christian Dryden (vox, bass) pours his entire soul into his impassioned, emotive vocals. Their lyrics are clever, educated, but never pretentious: the band deftly tackles love, loss, mythology, the occult, polytheism, and spirituality in their lush sound. Dryden describes himself as “anachronistic,” straddling the flowery lyric style of 19th-century Romantics, psychedelic and glam elements of the late 60s and 70s, and the passionate vocal lamentations of early Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Ziggy-era Bowie.
Now, The Ritualists release the video for their second single, I’m With The Painted People, a raucous number that almost moves straight into Iron Maiden territory with Dryden’s frantic shrieks. I’m with the Painted People is the second single off The Ritualists debut album, Painted People (Out Of Line Music). describes it as a “celebration of finding your kin.”
Dryden explains that growing-up attempting to follow in the lofty footsteps of legends like Bowie, Bolan and LeBon often left him feeling lonely…until he met those who shared his vision and passion in the underground scene of the Lower East Side. “I’m with the Painted People is about this journey and the exuberance of realizing who you are and expressing who you are among kindred spirits,” he concludes.
I’m With The Painted People seeks to conjure an era when MTV played music videos and rock stars provided avenues for escapism and inspiration rather than memes. It tells the story of the “Music Television” generation, when kids snuck down to the basement or over to a friend’s house to watch dangerous characters, dazzling artistic visuals and ground-breaking sounds.
“In the video, we follow a young girl, alone, sneaking a peek on an old TV set from Mars,” says Dryden. “She hears the tune and catches a glimpse. Then, a few minutes later, she realizes that she is not alone. She’s found her Painted People.”
The Ritualists are one of the more exciting acts in the NYC underground, and it is certainly time for them to fly.
Check out more about The Ritualists here
(Cover photo by ONErpm Studios)