Article by Ray Brodrick
What an anthem in just under three minutes! It could be lazy to compare Palehound's sound to their home-town compatriots The Breeders, but the more I listen I can't help but hear similarities. They have the driving bass and stripped-down sound with the sweet, ethereal-but-barbed vocal floating on top. Mix that in with musicianship that wanders off in different directions and styles, and stabbing, grouchy guitar refrains that compliment the vocal to a tee. 'Molly' also has the sort of production that says lo-fi but is recorded with care and attention, removing that clean and perfect sheen that makes everything sound the same.
Another track from Palehound's debut 'Dry Food', called 'Healthier Folk', recalls why I loved pretty much anything on 4AD back in the '90s, and is especially reminiscent of Ultra Vivid Scene. A sweet vocal with powerful driving guitars makes for the perfect collation, like the guitar is weeping along to the lyrics, then there's a stab of feedback as it picks up intensity ready to drop then pick up again like the best roller coaster should. Ellen Kempner is the mastermind of Palehound, playing everything but drums on the LP, and this shows in the way she cleverly constructs everything to quietly complement but noisily contrast at the same time. A sterling achievement at only 21.
Pre-order: 'Dry Food'
Catch them live:
Saturday 27th February - Generiq @ Belfort CCN, Belfont
Sunday 28th February - Fireworks @ Point Ephmere, Paris
Tuesday 1st March - Gullivers, Manchester
Wednesday 2nd March - Start The Bus, Bristol (free show)
Thursday 3rd March - Shacklewell Arms, London
Saturday 5th March - Rough Trade Shop in-store, Nottingham
Sunday 6th March - Headrow House, Leeds
Monday 7th March - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton
Thursday 10th March - The Monarch, Berlin
Friday 11th March - London Calling, Amsterdam
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