Palehound is the latest project from Yonkers, NY based singer/songwriter extraordinaire Ellen Kempner. Writing and performing her own songs since she was 10 years old, Kempner has played in bands (Cheerleader) and solo (Kempa), developing an amazing knack for songwriting in the process. Kempa’s self-recorded Dog on Crutches was released early 2012, a stunning collection of smart lo-fi indie rock that sticks in your head. Late last year during her freshman year of college, Kempner decided to create a revolving band, and Palehound was born. Wasting no time, Kempner began recording Palehound’s debut at Brooklyn’s Gravesend Recordings with Ava Luna’s Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez. The results are simply stunning. Palehound’s Bent Nail EP is due out on October 22nd through Exploding In Sound Records (Ovlov, Porches., Pile) on limited edition cassette and digital. When asked about the record, Kempner shared, “this collection of songs definitely exhibits my uncomfortable shift from teenage-hood to “adulthood” and the fact that regardless of what I felt like I should be as an adult, I still felt the same as I did when I was fifteen.”
Palehound’s sound is fresh yet familiar, composed of stellar songs and gorgeous musicianship, Kempner’s vocals wash over the mix with a calm demeanor, a subtle humor, and a sense that all is not what is seems. Hazy melodies blend lo-fi pop songs with twitchy indie rock and sarcastic anthems throughout the EP’s six tracks, every song offering a different glimpse into the world of Palehound. Joined by Hernandez (bass) and Fader (drums), Kempner’s songs are as infectious as they are poetic. Influenced by the timeless songwriting of Elliott Smith and Kim Deal, Kempner’s songs breathe with their own natural beauty and charming personality. Thoughtful, funny, ominous, dreamy, and at times destructive, Bent Nail covers an impressive range of emotions in less than twenty minutes. At just 19 years old, the future of Kempner’s Palehound is bright… and pale.
Pitchfork debuted the EP’s first single, “Pet Carrot” saying, “the minimal-yet-intoxicating ditty “Pet Carrot”, is proof that with a few strong influences (Liz Phair, Elliott Smith and Kim Deal) a friend/mentor in Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis, and a congenital knack for melody all her own, Kempner hardly needs to start from scratch.”
Palehound – Bent Nail EP (due out October 22nd)
2. Psycho Speak
4. Pet Carrot
5. I Get Clean