Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Listen: Palm - "Composite"

photo by Dylan Pearce
While much of the new material from Philly experimental rockers Palm has been an embracing of the pop element that fuels much of their complex, rhythmic math pop, the quartet certainly haven't forgotten the angular guitars that characterized much of their earlier work nor the bits and blasts of noise they peppered throughout Trading Basics or Ostrich Vacation. "Composite", the latest single from Palm's upcoming sophomore album Rock Island, lands on a sound that's inline with previous Rock Island cuts while recalling the rough-hewn instrumental work of Trading Basics that the band began to lean away from on last year's Shadow Expert EP.

From the start, Palm have always been an incredibly technically precise band but Shadow Expert saw the band adding a layer of polish to that precision as the band sought to marry pop conventions with their off-kilter song structures and aversion to common time. Made up of a skipping stone guitar riffs, "Composite" is simultaneously a buoyant romp and quick-paced shuffle through a kaleidoscopic musical tapestry. Despite it's various shifting sections, Palm manage to thread rhythmic fixtures - like their tumbling guitar riffs and its later echo in the drums. "Composite" sees the band approach the song's change-ups with a pretty casual glide: there's no lead up or hinting just a sudden switch handled with remarkably smoothness as the band continues on like nothing ever happened. And yet, it's hardly one musical idea completely abandoned for a new one, as the two sections are connected through similar though not entirely congruent rhythms before the new section shifts yet again to recall the first part in its coda.

Palm are excellent songsmiths and "Composite" is a perfect display of that as skittering guitars give way to shuffling drums, tempos surge and change course all without revealing where it'll end up. Palm are effortless able to contort their sound in a variety of ways that push their sound forward while still very much fitting into their expanding character. With Rock Island out in little more than a week, it thankfully won't be too long before listeners get to experience what else the band have up their sleeve. With such varying singles as "Pearly", "Dogmilk", and "Composite", it's really anyone's guess what the album will sound like as whole but if there's one thing fans can be certain of it's that it will be as unpredictable as it is good. 

Palm's sophomore full length record Rock Island is out February 9th on Carpark Records. You can order the record here.

1 comment:

  1. Dante I'm lovin how in depth you're getting with these posts, man! I feel like I've known the band for years now.