RIYL: Cherry Glazerr, The Coathangers, L.A. Witch

Label: Polyvinyl Records

Palehound’s dynamic Ellen Kempner is a brilliant writer and lyricist who can bring any topic to life. The lead single has an emotional sincerity through her lyrics and guitar work, while still harnessing a head bobbing tune that discusses the loss of love and it’s self-harming nature. Arguably the most underrated band around, Palehound is putting out their 3rd studio album, Black Friday, through Polyvinyl Records on their “Early Bird” Light Blue w/Yellow and Orange splatter vinyl. This should be something pretty exciting to listen to.

Co-produced by Kempner and Gabe Wax (Beirut, Soccer Mommy), Black Friday follows 2017’s A Place I’ll Always Go—a widely acclaimed release that landed on many year-end best-of lists. In creating the album, Kempner and her bandmates Jesse Weiss (drums) and Larz Brogan (bass) recorded at Panoramic House in Stinson Beach, California, tracking most of the songs live and breathing a new vitality into Palehound’s elegantly detailed sound.

Unrestrained in emotion but subtle in sonic flourish, Black Friday opens with the stripped-back intensity of “Company,” the first of many songs conveying a profound longing for a lost friend. From there, Palehound shift into the joyful wonder of “Aaron,” a song Kempner wrote for her partner in the midst of his transitioning process. “It’s about the past year of him coming out and me helping him through that, and just watching him grow so much,” she says. With her hushed yet urgent vocals, Kempner reveals her ability to draw so much power from a single word, turning “Aaron” into an indelibly tender expression of devotion and love.

Palehound examine the intricacies of friendship and partnership all throughout Black Friday, handling the subject with a level of attention rarely found in pop songs. On the quietly hypnotic title track, Kempner captures the specific ache of uneven emotional investment between friends, framing her plaintive acceptance in particularly barbed lyrics (“You’re Black Friday and I’m going to the mall”). And on “Worthy,” Palehound speak to the challenge of navigating self-confidence issues in relationships, and delicately showcase Kempner’s lyrical finesse (“And I’ve won over your mother, darling/And I’ve won over your sister too/And I won over your father, darling/And I still don’t feel worthy of you”).

The Details

180-Gram Light Blue w/ Light Yellow and Orange Splatter
Limited to 400.
First Pressing.
Polyvinyl Exclusive.
Includes 12" x 12" lyric insert.
shipping out on or around June 7, 2019

Additional Images

Price $21

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