(Photo Credit: Polyvinyl Record Co.)
We got advance access to Palehound's new record Black Friday (big thanks to Polyvinyl Record Co. for the access). Black Friday drops everywhere TOMORROW, June 7, 2019! See below for my track by track review and upcoming tour dates for Palehound!
Advance Review - Palehound - Black Friday
“Company” starts the record off royally with a slow, captivating melody and some funky sonic embellishments. Then comes “Aaron”, a very personal song for lead singer Ellen Kempner, which narrates the emotions of her journey with her partner as he transitions. This one features a classic steady and soft-rock sound. Definitely a jam for a long road trip or something of the sort.
The self titled track “Black Friday” starts off with Kempner’s signature raw and delicate vocals and builds up to a tender melody with some sweet harmonies. This one is strong in its dynamic rhythmic switch ups, which really makes it stand out from the rest.
The next track, “Worthy”, has a smooth, dreamy vibe to it. The guitar melody strongly reminds me of some Kurt Vile tunes. The lyrics are interesting on this particular track because they expresses the conflict and struggle of insecurity in relationships in a really poetic way. This one’s definitely a favorite off the album.
The beginning of “Killer” gives me Red Hot Chili Pepper vibes, but slows down to an echoed gloomy sound. Then the track speeds up to a still dark but catchy and rhythmic tune. After reading the story behind this one, which is a fantasy about doing away with a friend’s abuser, the track all comes together and makes sense. It’s a dark yet moving song, but catchy nonetheless.
“Where We Live”, a poem set in front of Kempner’s guitar which seems to echo and intertwine with poet Melissa Lozada’s words, is one of the most captivating tracks on the record. Sprinkled with the subtle sound of rain, this track is thought-provoking and downright beautiful.
“Bullshit” is your classic, slow bedroom-pop “sad girl” anthem. If you’re looking for a track off this album to lay on your carpet in your bedroom and cry to, this is the one. But in all seriousness, this track is so well produced and exquisitely profound. “Sneakers” follows, and picks up the energy with a more classic alt style. The subtle sounds of birds and nature in the background makes this track full-sounding but also lo-fi.
“Urban Drip” has almost a latin-inspired rhythm that really spices up the album. The diversity of dynamics in this record are a pleasant surprise and will really keep you on your toes. This tune is really striking my fancy as it’s one of the more upbeat tracks on the record. I’m almost getting a little 2000’s vibes from this one.
“Stick N Poke” starts off with a more urgent, punk-rock, basement house-show vibe. It’s a fun little tune with some sweet lyrics, “I think I’m due for a shitty tattoo.” Very relatable, I think we’ve all been there.
The second to last track “The City” continues the upbeat streak. This one’s got a steady rocking tempo and a playful piano melody that really brings the album home. Lastly we have “In Town” which features Kempner’s classic raw and affectionate lyrics. The sincerity in her voice is both distinct and riveting, and the strings really pull it altogether. A lovely ending to a lovely record.
Final Thoughts - Palehound’s new record is one for the books. I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of the songs in this album which kept me interested, but wasn’t so overpowering that it strayed too far from their classic sound. The theme of the narrative and raw lyrics were prevalent throughout the whole record. This is a lo-fi soft indie rock anthem and you should definitely give it a listen.
Rating - 4/5
PALEHOUND TOUR DATES 10/11 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall # [SOLD OUT] 10/12 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom # 10/13 - Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theatre # 10/15 - Montreal, QC @ Le Tulipe # 10/16 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre # 10/17 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre # 10/18 - Chicago, IL @ Metro # 10/19 - Madison, WI @ The Sylvee # 10/21 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue # 10/24 - Portland @ Crystal Ballroom # 10/25 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre # 10/26 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre # 10/28 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore # 10/30 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory # 11/01 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom # 11/02 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister # 11/04 - Austin, TX @ Stubb’s # 11/05 - Dallas, TX @ Trees # 11/07 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse # 11/08 - Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom # 11/09 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer # 11/10 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club # 11/11 - Columbus, OH @ Athenaeum Theatre #
# w/ Big Thief