Some Mellow, All Melody
It’s twelve tracks of everything you could want from a contemporary independent musical outfit, but this is purely subjective. San Francisco cousin duo Painted Palms have released- no, dropped this new album called Forever and it consists of acoustic guitars sometimes, programmed drums other times, reverb and harmonies. You really can’t have a contemporary independent release without harmonies. Well, you could, but it probably wouldn’t sound as good.
The songs are bright, above all else, with an optimistic flair. Nothing gets too heavy. They have classic melodic joyousness, the type you would expect from The Beatles or The Beach Boys (Why do you think bands do this, that shit was GREAT). Piano too. And there are lots of chime-y things that are either synthesizers or heavily treated “regular” instruments. The production lends itself to supporting this music, keeping the fidelity high enough to allow the inventive instrumentation to really shine. You probably couldn’t expect to hear this same level of development live. But it’s probably still good live, because these melodies sing, conjuring feelings of warmth, joy, nostalgia and longing. Well, at least for some. This too is purely subjective.
It’s good to call the album Forever, as that is one of the best songs. It launches with swirly sounds and has a pounding keyboard motif and a minor key thing, but then a big ol’ “Baby You’re a Rich Man” chorus, boisterous and upbeat. Other genre adventures taken include chamber pop, indie-folk and quasi-electro low-ball drag pop (I made that up). The album sits well at twelve songs, but it could be ten. Unless you love the sound and wish it were fourteen. Length aside, it’s a good album that the lads should be proud of, consistent in sound with a definite point of view. Their arrangements are on point and they have a lot to work with. Future albums should be even better.