Is it too early to say “album of the year”? Palms debut LP Rock Island on Carpark Records showcases the New York based bands truly innovative sound. Dont miss the chance to see them live in Berlin at Urban Spree this May.
In describing Palm to the uninitiated, it’s sometimes necessary to clarify the meaning of the group’s name by raising one’s hand in the universal symbol of greeting and goodwill. The act of corroborating the aural with the gestural occurs everywhere in their work. On their latest EP, “Shadow Expert,” the syntax of popular music is regarded suspiciously and often subjected to revisions or reversals. Without formal training in their instruments, the players are left to determine their own musical language.
Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt’s guitars occupy themselves most often with the pace-keeping work typical of a rhythm section. Meanwhile, Gerasimos Livitsanos’ bass and Hugo Stanley’s drums seem to perform commentary and reportage from deeply embedded positions at the front. Their contributions remain necessary to the composition, generating the kind of friction that other motion can be charted against: the grinding of teeth, the turning of an engine.
Palm plays rock music backwards. Their songs bear a certain methodology, though there is a tendency towards impulse which seems almost violently opposed to it. The band deals willfully in contradictions like this. The elements of any given song fit together like slightly melted puzzle pieces, serving up rigidity and looseness in equal measure. Palm songs imply architecture, but their compositional structures are somehow bound by different rules of physics than the ones we know. Lattices of guitar language (provided by Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt) intersect the rhythmic organism characterized by the twitchy throb of Gerasimos Livitsanos’ bass and the careless tumble of Hugo Stanley’s drums, with a layer of disembodied vocals draped atop the whole thing. Emotional yet clinical, wild yet contained, the sounds they offer are equally bizarre as they are pleasantly pretty.
Palm formed around 2011, shortly after its members met in college in Upstate New York. The years they spent writing and playing when not in school culminated into the release of Trading Basics in 2015, around which time they relocated to Philadelphia. Since then they’ve been playing shows throughout the country while they continue to hammer out their sound to be as refined as it is outlandish. More to come.
Palm & Trucks LIVE
Saturday 26th May 2018 | Doors 20:00 Start 21:00
Urban Spree | Revaler Straße 99 | 10245 Berlin