Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Listen: Palm - "Walkie Talkie"

Philly based experimental foursome Palm are among one of my favorite bands making music today for a host of reasons. Arguably the most reoccurring is the band's ability to metamorphose. While the space between their records is never that extreme, there's always the sense not only that they're at least a record ahead of their most recent output but that they're constant pursuing new and exciting sounds in a way that really invests the listener. The Palm captured on their upcoming Shadow Expert EP is at a drastically different place sonically than they were on their first EPs despite a time difference of only a couple years.

"Walkie Talkie", the first single from Shadow Expert, is easily one of the band's shortest tracks and still they manage to jam-pack it with a variety of tonal shifts. Its intro is simultaneously sparse and aggressive; heaviness building and then evaporating to clear the way for guitarists Kasra Kurt and Eve Alpert's continuous melodic baton passing. Their guitars interweave effortlessly despite not only the complexity of the rhythms but the shifting meter. The band are relentlessly locked in moving as a unit much like a flock of migratory birds even as the band purposefully vaults into moments of harsh disharmony. "Walkie Talkie" is characterized by these harrowing moments of musical daredevilry; pairing the complicated mathematics with pure borderline pop melodic songcraft. It's a song constantly at odds with itself shifting through various shapes and colors and deploying each member as a part of its array of timbres. That's more or less always been Palm's m.o. but "Walkie Talkie" and Shadow Expert the band show that foreknowledge doesn't dull the impressiveness of their musical feats and that there's plenty of room for them to experiment and grow in a sound that's already intensely experimental. That unpredictability is Palm's greatest strength and singlehandedly stokes the fire of anticipation for new music. Luckily for fans and new listeners alike Palm are always quite ahead of themselves.

Listen to "Walkie Talkie" from Palm's upcoming Shadow Expert EP out June 16th on Carpark Records. You can pre-order the EP now and also catch them on an extensive North American tour with Palberta supporting the EP. Tour dates here.

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