June 24, 2024

Palm Friends, The Delivery EP

Looking a little smug, and why not? Palm Friends on the couch, promoting their excellent new EP.


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.

The influences.

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.

I haven’t been able to stop listening to it.

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Credits

Will Burnton: Bass

Jon Lindquist: Drums

Jesse Pedersen: Guitar, vocals, background vocals on Hidden Perks

Shawnna Stennes: Guitar, vocals

Recorded at The Terrarium, Minneapolis, MN May 15th, May 23rd, June 9th, 2021

Hilary James: Background vocals on Hidden Perks

Pat Horigan: Piano on Light Pink, Quarter Century

 

Mixed and mastered by Ben Etter

Except Devotion by Henry Stoehr

 

Lyrics

 

Hidden Perks

Could someone write it down

Isn’t that way forward?

I thought it was straight ahead

Maybe I missed it while going too fast

 

And then I trip

Forgot the point and bust my lip

And there it is –

Laying back on the grass

I taste my blood and I bounce back

 

I fight time in the back of my head

We throw punches each morning

I fight time in the back of my head

Trying to make me boring

 

Yeah I read about that

That’s good for you and that’s bad

Now I’m talking so loud

Someone call the doctor I’ve figured it out

 

And then I trip

Forgot the point and bust my lip

And there it is –

Laying back on the grass

I taste my blood and I bounce back

 

I fight pride in the back of my head

We throw punches each morning

I fight pride in the back of my head

Trying to make me boring

 

Light Pink

Show up

Store’s closed

Big shrug and we’re on to the next one

You’re calm in your pink hat

I dance and I pull out the snacks I’ve packed

 

You bring me out to the park

Felt the big breeze that I would’ve missed out on

 

We drive around

Let the fast cars pass while we’re looking at the town

Your self portrait is freaky

but the colors are peachy

Warm me up like butter in a pan on low heat

Hardly noticed now I’m in deep

 

Come sit by me

Lemon squeezed over two whiskeys

Little sip

make it last longer

Slow down and the tunes sound better

 

You bring me out to the park

Felt the big breeze that I would’ve missed out on

 

We drive around

Let the fast cars pass while we’re looking at the town

Your self portrait is freaky

but the colors are peachy

Warm me up like butter in a pan on low heat

Hardly noticed now I’m in deep

 

Quarter Century

Now it’s time for my favorite part of the party

When I go alone outside and listen

Maybe lay down with the garden decorations

 

I know what I adore

Make it last or ask for more

Hear your voice far away

Love to hear it take up space

With the buzz and the lights

I can tell that we’ll be fine

And you might as well

Plan to peak at 65

 

Now we frown at the waste of a drink

In the morning going down the sink

I think back to the moment when

Someone said my name wrong and I liked it

 

Who’s surprised

A little bit softer every time

That’s the beat

I’ve got a loose grip on my quarter century

 

I know what I adore

Make it last or ask for more

Hear your voice far away

Love to hear it take up space

With the buzz and the lights

I can tell that we’ll be fine

And you might as well

Plan to peak at 65

 

Yeah, I’m counting on the long ride

 

Now it’s time for business

Check to see if it’s a winning ticket

Am I ready for a new front door

I’ll sure try to love it like the last one

 

It’s so light

A little bit softer every time

Take my hand

I’ll spin you around and back again

 

I know what I adore

Make it last or ask for more

Hear your voice far away

Love to hear it take up space

With the buzz and the lights

I can tell that we’ll be fine

And you might as well

Plan to peak at 65

 

Mile End

I land the trick and throw my hands

Into the air but no one’s there

And then it hits me, you crazy recluse

That autonomy has busted you

 

I’m getting the call now

Winding up that we’re all around

Got lost in the sound

Sunburnt rows heading downtown

 

The NOs has overtaken my mouth

A view too familiar

Tastes like missing out

Yeah I’m fit to keep walking

Such a safe route

But I’ve hit the mile end

Time to turn around

 

I’m getting the call now

Winding up that we’re all around

Got lost in the sound

Sunburnt rows heading downtown

 

Devotion

Me and my love, we went swimming

Staying above the beginning

I’m just calling you back

Wondering if I really mean it

 

Echo of devotion

 

Me and my love, make it true

Told me to swim but I stopped too

Believe me when I try

Didn’t mean to make you high

 

Echo of devotion

 

Domino

The wind would come when I called it

If I was right like you

A sore stomach from satisfaction

If I was right like you

 

But that’s not where I belong

I love to be wrong

I swear

It gets me everywhere

Sure I’ll let it in

And roll it around on my lips

And then I’ll pick

Then I’ll pick

So cuddle baby what you’ve won

When the day is done

What a choice companion

 

A heady feeling to hit the ceiling

If I was right like you

But I’ll take the buzz from contradiction

Cause I am not like you

 

Where I belong

I love to be wrong

I swear

It gets me everywhere

Sure I’ll let it in

And roll it around on my lips

And then I’ll pick

I smell the fire and I’m holding seeds in both hands

Don’t wanna lay in my echoes that’s not getting me anywhere

Anywhere

So cuddle baby what you’ve won

When the day is done

What a choice companion



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