The band's debut finds singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek picking up where people like Tim Buckley and Nick Drake left off, combining delicate, folky melodies with ambitious song structures and no small amount of alienation. The band also bears a debt to the American Music Club in more ways than one. AMC's Mark Eitzel helped secure the Painters their first record deal with 4AD, and COLORFUL HILL sounds like nothing so much as a scaled-down version of American Music Club's fractured folk-rock desolation.The young Kozelek comes off as the ultimate bedroom poet, agonized over the approach of "24" and getting worked up about troubles with friends and girlfriends ("Lord Kill the Pain," "Michael"). Thanks to the starkness of the arrangements, the uniqueness and consistency of Kozelek's vision, and the winning mix of artifice and honesty, things never get too precious. Uniformly slow tempos and spare, angular guitar work dominate, while Kozelek's humble but pretty voice floats through the songs like a ghost with a chip on its shoulder.