Photo: Eve Alpert

Palm’s physical sonics are out in force on “Feathers”, from their new album

Philadelphia-based band Palm are back with their first new music in four years and news that they’ll be releasing a new album called Nicks and Grazes on October 14 through Saddle Creek. The first song to be shared is “Feathers”, with the band’s bassist Gerasimos Livitsanos revealing:

“‘Feathers’ went through a few drafts – I was initially playing a plodding line on the bass guitar but something about the arrangement wasn’t working. It was only once I switched to bass synth that there was a strong enough center for the atonal guitar and synth pads to make sense.The first one we tracked in the studio, ‘Feathers’ became an undanceable dance song at the last minute.”

The band have said that the sounds of dub and footwork have influenced this new record, and those are certainly clear in “Feathers” – although deployed in a wholly unique way. At its core, “Feathers” is a steady indie pop song, but Palm place blasting synth bass, hisses and unpredictable rhythms all around, as if the song is being played inside some kind of rusting spaceship you might find in a Star Wars scrapyard. It’s disorienting, and the lyrics are not here to ground the listener, Eve Alpert breaking out of the mould with unusual movements and determining to “make it up like a performer” and whispering about “the logic of feathers”. It’s a lot to take in, and first listen might feel like being clanged over the head by an array of musical pots – but it’s compelling, and eventually becomes welcoming and thrilling, in its wild way.

Before we go any further, props must be given to Livitsanos for his excellent vintage Arsenal shirt in the press photo above.

OK, watch the video for “Feathers” below or find it on streaming platforms.

Palm’s new album Nicks and Grazes arrives on October 14 through Saddle Creek (pre-order/save). You can find the band on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.