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Black Friday

by Palehound

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littleowl89
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littleowl89 I wanted this album for a long time. It is a beautiful collection of poignant poetry set to music. Ellen's voice and style is unique and Palehound remains one of my favorite bands. My favorite song is Worthy, and I adore the video. Just a great band. Favorite track: Worthy.
Christiong
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Christiong come for Aaron, stay for Black Friday, feel Worthy, pull Bullshit, love this album Favorite track: Aaron.
theUtmost
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theUtmost I had a hard time picking a favourite track, but Bullshit just edged out Aaron, Black Friday and Worthy.
I have listened to this WAY more than I expected I would, not because of the music (which i love) but because I struggle to handle that much brutal honesty in the lyrics. Powerful stuff, make no mistake, thank you for sharing this music with the rest of us mere mortals. Favorite track: Bullshit.
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1.
Company 01:58
And if you quit smoking Will you just start drinking? Sober as a stone My number in your phone Your mother gets home late Your father’s out of state You watch too much TV You keep me company Your brother’s old drum kit Set up in the basement I’m waiting for the day I get to hear you play.
2.
Aaron 03:38 video
Your mother wanted to name you Aaron But her body built you as a different man My friend if you want me to I’ll call you Aaron I can You sing your song with your back turned to me Your body shaking voice sturdy and still If closing my eyes will help you Turn around Aaron I will The water’s warm but it still stings your shins When you are wading in It’s worth the swim I feel so weightless Rid of our bodies Come and float with me Aaron Your father wanted to take you shopping For something to wear on his wedding day When I saw you standing there With your shirt tucked in I caved The water’s warm but it still stings your shins When you are wading in It’s worth the swim I feel so weightless Rid of our bodies Come and float with me Aaron You live your life with your back turned to me Your body swaying voice steady in stance If shutting my mouth will help you Turn around Aaron I can I can Aaron I can
3.
Black Friday 03:24
When I ask if you wanna spend the day with me You say “Sure I’ve got nowhere else to be” I’ll take being the last one on your mind Still squeeze me in, never cared about Waiting on your line And I remember the days You’d break my heart in other ways Before you said we’d keep in touch I don’t hear from you too much If you need to call me I’m too weak to hold your grudge When i ask you “Are you seeing the same guy?” You seem confident he’s sticking around this time I’ll take being the last one that you call You’re Black Friday and I’m going to the mall I remember the days You’d break my heart with just a face Before you said we’d keep in touch I don’t hear from you too much If you need to call me I’m too weak to hold your grudge
4.
Worthy 02:52 video
I’ve got some bad ideas I tell you on the phone I didn’t fear your rain Until it was a storm I think I hate my body Til it’s next to yours With you I wear the clothes I’d buried in my drawers 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 I think I’d better quit I text you late at night I’m in the motel bathroom Staring at my thighs I remember my body show its Evils in other’s rooms I remember the shine of your mouth As I lay there for you And I’ve won over your mother darling And I’ve won over your sister too And I’ve won over your father darling And I still don’t feel worthy of you
5.
Killer 04:10
With every step he takes An evil shakes in you He’s hauling ass Feet slapping down your avenue Fingers tracing the spaces Between the bricks lining your hall My weapon’s lick in my hands My back’s against your wall I wanna be the one who kills the man who hurt you darling Just because I feel the devil in your bed Don’t mean it’s you When you winced and turned your head And wept, that’s when I knew That it’s not enough to run that dog out of this town! My weapon’s cold in the backseat Hunt that monster down. I wanna be the one who kills the man who hurt you darling Just because I feel the devil in your bed Don’t mean it’s
6.
7.
Bullshit 03:37
I tried to cheer you up I tried to fix it all Instead I think I made you feel broken Show you a picture of You that I really love You cringe and ask If you're like that in person What can I do When all my truth just sounds like Bullshit to you Where do we go When all our truth just sounds like Damage control Stand up and your shoulders cave Tell a joke and the punchline shakes You’re squirming in a shirt that you outgrew You’ve got your father’s eyes You’ve got your mother’s smile And I’ve got every reason to love you What can I do When all my truth just sounds like Bullshit to you Where do we go When all our truth just sounds like Damage control
8.
Sneakers 02:14
I’m sorry I’m sorry that you come to me in dreams Like it’s the only way that you can find to talk to me When I saw you last We were fraying at the edges I never patched it up and now We’re unwound. Thought I saw you wearing boots But knew it wasn’t really you Cuz you wear sneakers in the winter Your clearness was a shiver Slush seeping through your soles Now your feet are wet And I can’t wring you out Oh I’m sorry that you had to see that I’m sorry that you had to see me like that. Chest a frenzy when I saw You working my old summer job It singed a nerve I thought was lost Here I was measuring my scars Envisioning yours twice as long Your skin was smooth and shining Like my street when it rains Thought I saw your feet were bare But knew you weren’t really there Cuz you wear sneakers by the seaside Your silence was a nuisance Sand sticking to my socks Now my floors are filthy I can’t rinse them off Oh I’m sorry that you had to see that I’m sorry that you had to see me like that.
9.
Urban Drip 02:26
You got your paycheck Blew it all that afternoon On mall sunglasses Fees for classes Back to school And then we drove You laughed and pointed out the bars where You had sex in bathrooms wet with urban drips And you admit, it was gross But you were having fun I feel gross But not the way that you had meant, no You play your heart Every Tuesday open mic Now you’ve got your own show Name on posters Friday night I didn’t realize How badly I’d been itching just to Hear your voice Singing in a quiet room With no one texting Or yelling at the bar and being rude You are music But not the kind they listen to You are music But not the kind they listen to.
10.
Stick N Poke 02:25
Their eyes are glinting Mouths are twisting Holding back the gimmick My knees are failing Chest is wailing Shaking in my core They hold my body like it’s nothing Pinching, pushing, prodding There is no winner I’m left bitter Hissing from the litter I was walking by your house one morning When it hit me I think I’m due for a shitty tattoo! I only have these thoughts when I’m missing you! I sleep in late It’s such a waste Passing my youth in half days Can barely breathe without caffeine And water’s what I want My body holds me like a prison Weeping, wilting, wincing There is no winner I skip dinner They still want you thinner I drove by and I saw your car on the street When it hit me I think I’m due for a shitty tattoo! I only have these thoughts when I’m missing you!
11.
The City 02:28
My body grows My city shrinks I feel her hands around my waist Not like we’re dancing Like she’s pushing me away My shoulders back My stomach in I rub my sweat into her skin It makes her glow but not enough To keep me in I ride the busses, take the trains I squeeze my figure through her veins I am congestion I’m the blood clot in her leg In movie theaters, public parks In delis, markets, coffee shops Her organs fold and leave me Gasping in her streets.
12.
In Town 04:25
At the thought of losing you My muscles hum familiar tunes And curl me to a naked ball Wet on our shower floor How do I unfurl from here? At the thought of losing you I paint my eyes and lips And as I pull my sharpest stockings on My ankle gives and twists How do I stand up from here? If there’s anything I learned While I was back in town It’s that nothing worth loving ever sticks around But you At the thought of leaving you I dig my heels and screech And like an infant hand Wrapped round your thumb I grip you like a leech How would i let go from here? If there’s anything I learned While I was back in town It’s that nothing worth loving ever sticks around But you
13.
Killer 04:10

about

The third full-length from Boston-based trio Palehound, Black Friday is a finespun exploration of all the forms that love can take: love between friends, love for people no longer in your life, love in the face of self-hate, love that endures through major life changes or through many tiny catastrophes. With her thoughtful narrative voice, Palehound singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner imbues each song on the album with a radical sensitivity, an unchecked depth of feeling that ultimately sparks a greater open-heartedness within the listener.

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”).

While much of Black Friday unfolds with palpable compassion, “Killer” takes on a vengeful mood as Kempner recounts a fantasy of doing away with a friend’s abuser. “It came from being so fed up with people who feel like they can take advantage of others sexually or physically or emotionally to get ahead or get what they want, and just wanting to destroy that culture in general,” she says. On the following track, Palehound continue their contemplation of abuse with “Where We Live”—a striking piece of spoken word from New York City-based poet Melissa Lozada- Oliva; its gritty yet dreamlike storytelling set against Kempner’s sprawling guitar work.

In bringing Black Friday to life, Kempner spent much of her time holed up in the practice space she shares with a wrestling troupe, pursuing a songwriting process that’s often emotionally fraught. “For me songs usually start with some really strong anxiety or other bad emotion,” says Kempner. “I generally don’t pick up a guitar when I’m feeling super-happy.” Originally from Connecticut, she first started writing songs at age 10, several years after taking up guitar. “My dad wrote songs and played guitar and we’re really close, so I always felt inspired to make music too,” she notes. After playing in a punk band in high school, Kempner began putting out songs under the name Palehound at age 18, then released the project’s debut EP Bent Nail in 2013 and full-length debut Dry Food in 2015. Arriving in June 2017, A Place I’ll Always Go earned praise from outlets like Pitchfork (who hailed Kempner’s voice as “specific and visceral”) and NPR (who stated that 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”).

With Black Friday building off the emotional complexity of its predecessor, Palehound hope that the album might help others to work through their own troubles in life and love of all kinds. “Making music’s always been a therapeutic thing for me—that’s such a big part of the reason why I do it in the first place,” says Kempner. “What I always want to do with my songs is to help people heal in some way, or come to some new understanding about whatever it is that they’re going through. Even if it’s just hearing a song and feeling less alone than they were before, that would mean so much to me.”

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released June 7, 2019

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