February 26, 2014

7": Palehound - Kitchen

Ellen Kempner's new Kitchen 7" satiates our Palehound craving (for now).

Back in October 2013, Ellen Kempner debuted the first official Palehound EP, Bent Nail, on Exploding In Sound Records. Following what was most likely a busy few months of balancing touring and college, Kempner has released the two track Kitchen 7". This time around, Ellen is joined by Ben Scherer (guitar), Thom Lombardi (bass and vocals), and Max Kupperberg (drums). It is probably worth mentioning that while I was writing this review the first single, "Holiest," was stuck in my head every day.

The narratives Ellen created on Bent Nail prove that she is able to describe events she may not have experienced at the age of 19. Recently, I've been conducting interviews with relatively young musicians and one question I have been asking is how real are your songs. The answer I am expecting is not, "All my lyrics are based on real events." While diary-like songs are great, I think it is equally important that a musician is able to analyze and translate their feelings from one experience into another. Ellen is able to perfectly convey the emotion she wishes to express, not only through lyrics, but also sound. For example, on "Holiest" when she says "I'm feeling crazy," the heavier guitar makes you believe her. Lyrically, Ellen carefully crafts metaphors that articulate exactly what she could say in less poetic ways. On the first single, "Holiest," she sings "Cause I'm the holiest of all your parts / I'm licking out your loneliness and starving all your crops." The second song, "Pay No Mind," is a well-balanced track, beginning with a steady riff and a straightforward tone. The line, "Oh I would sell my body for some sand" somewhat evokes a line from Bent Nail's "Drooler": "Vandalize my body if it helps you sleep soundly." Ellen's voice soars to new heights on the track before dissolving into distortion. While the Kitchen 7" provides relief from a Palehound drought, Ellen's heartfelt release creates a craving for more.


Purchase the 7" from Exploding In Sound Records.

Written by Quinn Moreland