Palm plays rock music backwards. Eve Alpert and Kasra
Kurt's guitars occupy themselves most often with the
pace-keeping work typical of a rhythm section.
Meanwhile, Gerasimos Livitsanos' bass and Hugo
Stanley's drums perform commentary and reportage f
rom their deeply embedded positions at the front.
The band is firmly attached to the physicality of rock,
but not as much its tone; their instruments tend
to sound like any number of things at any given time.
None of the members of Palm are formally trained on
their instruments. The band formed in 2011 at college
in Upstate New York, when high school friends Eve and
Kasra met Gerasimos and Hugo. In those early days, the
band was just beginning to forge its collective musical
identity through experiments in recording and
Their first album, Trading Basics (2015), was written in
Hudson, NY, a riverside outpost where the group could
clarify its intentions outside the direct influence of
nearby cultural capitals. That year, the members of
Palm relocated to Philadelphia, where they continue to
live only a few blocks apart from one another. This
proximity has facilitated a level of collaboration
necessary for a sound so slippery to remain in the firm
grasp of its players.
On 2017's Shadow Expert EP, they made use of the
steady hand granted by a tireless touring schedule,
cutting their songs to efficiencies of pop confection
without sacrificing the avant-adventurism at the
center. The effort was met with praise from such
outlets as Pitchfork, Stereogum, Spin, and
Tiny Mix Tapes, who likened the sound variously
to Stereolab, Slint, Sonic Youth and Broadcast. With
Rock Island (2018), Palm excuses the company of these
myriad influences with a sly brush of a hand,
ushering the listener into a new domain, thrillingly
strange for all its familiarity.