14 July, 2015

[SINGLE REVIEW] Palehound - Healthier Folk

The slacker-tsunami originating circa late 2013 shows no sign of slowing up, especially with cuts like this from Boston trio Palehound coming thick and fast. “Healthier Folk”, released on Exploding in Sound Records, is pure Pavement via Elliott Smith, with a sprinkling of Silver Jews thrown in for good measure. A song about “people generally being not nice” according to the band’s Facebook page, there is a solemn thread throughout the track, yet still the nonchalant and lackadaisical way it is delivered articulates loud and clear that they can’t be bothered to care about these kill-joys. The production value is low, but not in the scuzzy punky sense, rather in the ‘we’ve only got one microphone, but whatever…’ school; this actually lends a certain intimacy to what is essentially a soft rock song.

Whilst the stumbling and chaotic guitar solo towards the end is reminiscent of Wowee Zowee era Stephen Malkmus, there are also contemporary comparisons to be made. The one that stands out most clearly is to fellow slacker-indie stalwarts Speedy Ortiz- if you squint your ears the vocals are almost indistinguishable from Sadie Dupuis’s off-kilter delivery. Furthermore, fans of NZ shoegazer Shunkan or Welsh weirdos Radstewart will find something to enjoy from this track. Combining an undoubtedly 90s feel with the cutting edge sounds coming from lo-fi groups the world over Palehound are worthy members of this lazy corner of the indie scene. Also, at the end of the day, it’s just a really nice track to listen to, with real emotion shining through.

Written by - Lewis Lloyd-Kinnings

Buy / Palehound - Dry Food