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Palehound just wants to know "How Long"

Ellen Kempner and Palehound require no more than a minute and forty seconds to take the listener on a ride through languorous bliss and lingering despair on Palehound's new song out today called “How Long.” Opening with a salutary cough and a strummed guitar like a train rolling round the bend, the first stanza veers between reveries of a marble sky and “three months of cops and blacktops” and taking cover from a sudden hailstorm. Over its brief duration of plucky major-key banjo and toy keyboard stair-step melodies like “a watersnake slicing the skin of the lake” the song ends on an unsettled and unsettling note bent out of tune: “how long ‘til the sweetness melts / how long ‘til there rings a bell / how long ‘til there rings a bell / how long ‘til there rings a bell / that signals us returned from hell.” 

As guitarist and singer and bandleader of Palehound over the course of three albums and a clutch of singles--including the Elliott Smith cover above on last year's reissue of his 1995 eponymous album--Kempner has proved her mastery of fusing sweet and sour emotional hues to deeply-felt memorable effect--especially well suited to the current state of inertia for sure--whether addressing episodes of physical abuse, body image issues, buying dry pet food, lending support to a gender-transitioning friend, identifying with selfish girls named after drugs, or getting shitty tattoos. However serious or frivolous the subject Kempner infuses her words with a warmth-radiating humanity owing in no small part to the grain of her voice orbiting between near-collapse faltering and rock-steady empathy and resolve.

Plus she shreds on guitar. Witness the instructional lesson below for a song off Palehouse’s first album ably supported by feline companion. (Jason Lee)

Indie Rockers Palehound win at Boston Music Awards, release new song

Indie rock outfit Palehound beat several popular acts, including Bent Knee and Weakened Friends, for Alternative/Indie Artist of the Year at this year’s Boston Music awards, held on December 7th at the House of Blues. Palehound, fronted by songwriter Ellen Kempner, released their third studio album A Place I’ll Always Go earlier this year, drawing comparisons to prolific legacy artists like Angel Olsen, Kim Deal, and Elliott Smith. Check out the band’s newest song “Sea Of Blood” (engineered by Bully’s Alicia Bognanno) from their upcoming LP, YMCA Pool, set to release on January 26, 2018. -Charley Ruddell

Jake's CMJ 2014 Day 2: Tonstartssbandht, Palehound, Advertising, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards

Hey! Don't you want to read about my exciting day 2 of the Crummy Music Jobs festival? Don't you want to know about what an amazing time I'm having and all the amazing bands I'm seeing that you're missing out on at the Crap Making Jerks festival? Of course you do, I mean, my word is law after all, and everything I say should be taken with complete seriousness. No funny business here at the Country Music Jazz festival. - Keep reading Jake's report for Day 2 of the CMJ Music Marathone 2014


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