((Palehound)) Band Profile and Upcoming New York City Concerts - Oh My Rockness


Written by Patrick McNamara

Palehound is Ellen Kempner - a 19-year-old straight outta Yonkers (that's the song I think of when I think of Yonkers - don't rain on my musical parade, man). She makes sparse, off-kilter “indie rock” (use that word like it was used in 1994) that’s heartfelt and funny and tender and biting and cutting and sometimes sad. She could be singing about her pet carrot or some dude’s raisin scone or about blowing someone away by putting a hole in their brain. Wherever the winds of emotional whim shall take thee, Ellen Kempner - we shall go with you. Because this feels real.

Now, comparisons are about as fun as soiled cardboard boxes. But whatever. It helps people make sense of things when the dynamic words of a muzik blob can’t. So let’s do it. For the people. Old comparisons = Liz Phair and Elliott Smith. New comparisons = Waxahatchee and Speedy Ortiz. Future comparisons = (i’m going to revisit this profile next year and fill it in - remind me - better yet, I’ll add Palehound to the saved bands in My Rockness - that way I can remind myself - but enough - enough of this)

Kempner wrote, recorded, mixed and self-released her very fine first full-length “Dog on Crutches” (awww, no one wants to see that) mostly in a shed (sounds cruel - but her words - hopefully it was more like a furnished coach house - rather than, like, a concrete room with some rakes and a tin roof) in early 2012 (A.D.). She played all the instruments on it too. You know, Dave Grohl style (but not, like, in his style...at all). So she seems to be one of those auteurs that can do it all and do it well. I hate those people. Just kidding. Not kidding. Kidding. No. Oh, I don’t even know anymore.

But enough about 2012. The excellent label, Exploding in Sound, (Ovlov + Two Inch Astronaut + Fat History Month + more goodness) will release Palehound's new six song sub-20 minute EP on October 22nd, 2013 (A.D.) It was recorded by two guys in Ava Luna. I won’t talk about them though. You can just click their name if you want to chit-chat some more about that band.

Anyway, here’s that pet carrot song from that forthcoming EP. It’s not really about a carrot, though. It’s about love being a bummer. True that, Ellen Kempner. True. That.

Published September 17, 2013
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