Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Song(s) of the Day # 1,277 Palm

Twisting familiar sounding influences into unfamiliar shapes. That's what American band Palm do on their latest six track EP Shadow Expert. What you'll here, nominally stems from Post Punk and Math Rock but you couldn't quite nail it down to individual bands as is so often the case. Or at least I can't. Maybe I'm not well enough versed. It certainly sounds fairly fresh to me.

Palm, like other contemporary American guitar bands such as Omni, Warehouse, Sunflower Bean, Hoops and Cende are definitely setting off somewhere new within familiar pop and rock parameters  and that's always good to hear. Rather than just apishly recreating the glory of long gone records or copying their contemporaries, they're heading for different horizons, and even though this asks more of the listener, ultimately the effort is well-rewarded.

Formed by undergraduates at an upstate New York university, the band have been together as a four-piece ever since, relocating to Pennsylvania in the meantime. The latest Pitchfork  review says that Shadow Expert is their best effort so far and though I'm not familiar with their previous stuff I can definitely recommend this. It's melodic but unpredictable and the six songs on the EP strike off in different directions rather than sticking to a single template.

None of the six songs on here so much as reach the four minute mark but it doesn't seem so because Palm are such a busy, intricate band. There's nothing on here that's verse/chorus either in the traditional sense but there are repeating signatures and defining patterns in each track, each of which has an internal, ticking logic.The centre always holds.

All in all an intriguing listen. Less than twenty minutes very well spent with Kasra Kurt, Eve Alpert, Hugo Stanley, and Gerasimos Livitsanos, (I also appreciate a band with a good set of names), or Palm.

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