PALEHOUND – ” Carnations “

Posted: February 8, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Death is cruelly indifferent, and no matter how expected or seemingly random it is, Palehound’s Ellen Kempner understands as much as anyone. In relatively close succession last year, the Boston-based songwriter faced the unforeseen death of a friend, and the passing of her grandmother, and was left reeling as a result. Palehound’s second full-length album, A Place I’ll Always Go, cannot help but be informed by these experiences. Channeling her grief into honest songs about mortality and the search for closure, the album reveals details from her personal life like never before.

Still, for all its rumination, this album gradually projects a flicker of light amid the darkness: During this same tumultuous time, Kempner found herself entering into her first healthy relationship. A Place I’ll Always Go grapples not only with the contradictory flood of emotions and guilt that arise when attempting to move on, but with the burgeoning excitement of new love. Recorded in late 2016 at Brooklyn’s Thump Studios with assistance from Gabe Wax (who also worked on Palehound’s superb 2015 album, Dry Food), A Place I’ll Always Go galvanizes its bedroom confessionals with Kempner’s dexterous finger-plucked arpeggios and buzzy guitar melodies, and the propulsive rocking energy of drummer Jesse Weiss and bassist Larz Brogan. Palehound adds richer instrumental shadings on the album’s bookends: Palehound’s unflinching songs are also a celebration of life and embrace of love, and an empathetic reflection on how endings usually lead to beginnings.

“Carnations” is taken from Palehound’s latest album, A Place I’ll Always Go, out now.

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