A crisp Spring morning, fresh cut grass, birds singing happily, the sun peeking through the trees, not yet long established in the sky – daylight through night’s air. A significant stroll, smiling faces, familiar landmarks suddenly new; everywhere you look are the usual actors playing in a new production, gliding through a sea of wonder and awe. The sun heats the day and together all things sweat and melt into one another. Reality evaporates, rains down, and collects once more in pools, each existing only as a mirror to scrutinize oneself. This is the scenery created in Painted Palms‘ debut album Forever and if you think it’s a bit confusing, that’s the point. It’s all about internal clutter and the external ramifications of trying to sort it all out.
Painted Palms is a collaboration between two cousins, Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme, who grew up together in Louisiana. They started making music over the internet when one moved to San Francisco, emailing snippets of sounds back and forth and slowly constructing songs from the bits and pieces. They were discovered by Kevin Barnes, taken on tour, and signed to Polyvinyl records. The two now live in San Francisco but still write apart, sharing song ideas over the web. Upon first listen the thing that jumps out the most is Painted Palms’ successful integration of many different and unique influences. Prudhomme’s Panda Bear-esque vocals mix with patched and sampled interweaving textures that result in psychedelic pop-grooves reminiscent of Of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna and Caribou’s Andorra. “Soft Hammer,” my personal favorite due to its gradual and subtle build into a chaotic version of itself, nods to the Beach Boys and the album’s title track boasts elements that wouldn’t be out of place in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Though the sound of this album may begin as a well-crafted compilation of several different influences, the consistent style leads the record to reference itself as it draws on, cementing the sound as no one else but Painted Palms. I am very excited to follow this band and see how they will grow. They have laid down a very solid foundation and I have no doubt in my mind that these artists will dazzle fans with their creative architecture.
Check out Painted Palm’s music video for “Forever” here and keep an eye out in the next few days for our interview with the band!