In music today, a lot gets categorized as indie rock. The funny side of that is when an artist is on a major label and they try to hang on to that claim. We’ve been fans of Palehound for a minute now, but on their new album Black Friday they not only carefully craft indie rock, they prove that they’re a shining example of what the genre is.
It should be noted that this album plays well as one piece of music. It’s not that there aren’t standouts, because there most certainly are. But the record has a flow to it where the songs feel like puzzle pieces that reveal more with each passing note. On the indie rock side of the songs here, an earnest delivery on “Company” opens up the album, giving you plenty of slow building rock tones to last for days. This occurs with a more upbeat pacing on “Aaron” where the jangly tone of the guitar is only exemplified by the soft vocals that faintly dance above the notes. The classic indie rock build up of the track is magical, displaying plenty of weight for a song that feels heavier that its stride would reveal.
Though with all the traditional indie rock that falls on the release, the true magic of the album comes with tender folk songs, as well as those that feel carefully written and at times delicately powerful. The softer side of title track “Black Friday” holds enough emotional weight to topple a mountain. “Bullshit” creeps up on you with acoustic noodling that sticks with you in a way that’s mighty and soft at the same time. And “The City” has a happy-go-lucky pacing complete with extra instrumentation that causes it to stand out as it sparkles in it’s easy going demeanor. But with all of those songs, the stand out on the album is “Urban Drip.” It’s such a differently crafted song with nuances of folk and modern pop, yet it’s neither of those. Palehound finds a space between folk and indie pop and makes it their own, showing that some indie acts aren’t just the definition, but the standard of what it means to be an independent artist.
Black Friday is available to stream on all streaming sites, it can be purchased digitally from all digital music retailers and it can be purchased on multiple formats directly from Polyvinyl Records. Palehound is on tour beginning June 15 at House of Vans in Chicago, IL until November 11 at The Athenaeum Theatre in Columbus, OH. A complete listing of their performances can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Shervin Lainez.