Palm Friends’ new EP, The Delivery, is essential listening for long-term followers of indie.
Palm Friends have dressed the genre’s rotting corpse in a straw hat, a lumberjack shirt, a guitar, and blown one last breath of life into it.
Much more. They’ve offered something new to the canon. Something poppy, romantic, subtle and seductive.
Palm Friends ply languid, countrified indie: Teenage Fan Club, Lemonheads.
There’s also 20th century pop: Bangles, Jane Wiedlin.
Plus Shawnna Stennes, the stand out vocalist, sounds like Suzanna Vega and Chan Marshall.
But this is much more than something you’ve heard before, even if you’ve heard all of it.
Its all about Stennes.
Its her voice in part: sweeter, smoother, rangier than anything the Vega-Marshall axis has to offer.
What tones, hues and resonances. What a rainbow.
Add to this her captivating syllabic patterning, pace and wordplay, and it puts her in a league of her own.
She whispers into your ear, tender, intimate, moody. Its love at first listen, but also something to cry into.
Then she’s laid back, like she’s replaying memories whilst gazing out of a Greyhound.
Her nuance gives her a certain cool (offset by what appears to be a sausage with a bandage on its head, tattooed to the bottom of her left leg).
But its also about the playing. The songs are an intricate and subtle weave of the romantic, the melancholic and the dramatic.
I’m getting a profound ‘coming of age’ movie for mid twenties, for mid-west hipsters.
Taken together this EP is just ‘wow’; perhaps because its awakened so many musical love affairs from the last four decades, perhaps because its like meeting an old flame.