Palm – Rock Island

Rock Island

Palm, from Philadelphia, have been around a few years now and have already amassed quite a following. We just had to write about ‘Rock Island’ though. The band appear to have really hit upon something on this record.

There are hints of The Knife, Panda Bear, Battles, Don Caballero, Stereolab, Dirty Projectors and Deerhoof, as many have pointed to before. However, Rock Island feels like they have advanced as a band and honed their own sound. The vocals are where most comparisons will occur. Kasra Kurt recalls, at times, Brian Wilson, Panda Bear and James Mercer of the Shins. Eve Alpert’s voice has tinges of Karin Dreijer (Fever Ray, The Knife) and Broadcast’s Trish Keenan. The vocal lines are poppier this time around than on previous releases, less drawn out, yet still take a few listens to fully appreciate.

Musically the band are very adventurous.

Gerasimos Livitsanos’s bass lines are sparse and pointed, a less is more approach which complements the scattered yet clearly purposeful and considered drums of Hugo Stanley, which bring a dimension of controlled chaos.

The guitars ping back and forth rhythmically, sometimes effected to resemble steel drums.Palm’s is a sound that would have fit seamlessly into the Indie scape of 15 years ago but is updated for a new generation.Particular highlights for us are opener “Pearly”, “Composite”, “Color Code” and the dreamy “Swimmer”, with it’s beautiful vibrato and harp like effects.A slow burning but quite rewarding listen. They are coming to the UK in October. Be sure to catch them. Rock Island is out now on Carpark Records.


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