Palehound is the songwriting project of Ellen Kempner, who began releasing solo material under the name in 2013. She formed a touring band in the fall of that year, and released a 7″ through Exploding in Sound Records a few months later. Kempner has been lauded for clever, introspective lyricism which sits at the forefront of the band’s official debut, “Dry Food.” Nearly every note on the release was played by Kempner herself, and her personal touch lives in all eight tracks. “Dry Food” is barely half an hour, which is not for lack of material, but is a reflection of Kempner’s skillful songwriting. She doesn’t waste a single measure, dishing out somber, poignant declarations with a simple clarity of thought.
Kempner studied jazz and classical guitar at Sarah Lawrence and the influence finds its way into the core of Palehound’s style. Kempner’s guitar work is colorful, tactile, and frenetic. She noodles over hazy melodies, climbs scales, and bounces between expressive chord progressions with so much ease that it exists as an extension of herself. The way in which Kempner delivers powerful guitar work as a complement to her dark, flowering voice is where Palehound truly shines. At times she’s all-out shredding, showing her command over the fretboard while adding an uplifting edge to the track. She combines this with a booming rhythm section and creative song construction to create bedroom pop in its most refined form.
Watch the three-piece perform tracks from their debut on Audiotree Live.
supported by 7 fans who also own “Palehound - Audiotree Live”
I’d describe Speedy Ortiz’s sound as very brash yet very melodic. The chord progressions and melodies are so wacky and out of place in a way that shouldn’t work but somehow still does, and I’m in love with it. Arin with an i
supported by 6 fans who also own “Palehound - Audiotree Live”
This immediately connects me with what I love about bands like Helium and Polvo - and of nineties independent music in genreral. I don't know whom Speedy Ortiz draws influence from, or if influences are even important to them, but if you need a reference, then Matador Records, circa The Dirt of Luck and Exploded Drawings are sweet, sweet home ground. albinobone