Music » Feature

Everybody loves Palehound

Endorsed by The New York Times and Chipotle, the Boston indie-pop quartet visits Halifax with its excellent second record in tow.

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SHERVIN LAINEZ
  • Shervin Lainez

Palehound w/Dance Movie, Emily Rockarts, Valerie
Thursday, January 18, 8pm
The Seahorse, 2037 Gottingen Street
$15 adv/$20 door

The highlight of 2018 may have already happened for Palehound. On January 8, the Boston indie pop-rock band was a crossword clue in The New York Times, much to the delight of frontperson Ellen Kempner.

"I wish that I could tell you that I stumbled upon it just while I was doing the crossword, because that would be the ultimate," says Kempner. Someone messaged her to tell her that 17 across in the puzzle read "A Place I'll Always Go band," which is the name of Palehound's second album, a much-lauded favourite of last year.

Kempner would have stumbled upon the clue eventually—she does the crossword every night. "Like to the point where there's a certain time in the night where my partner's like, 'OK, is it game time for you?,'" she says. "I'm like 'Yes.' I just roll over and do the crossword and don't talk. I'm obsessed with it."

As if life couldn't get any better, three days later Palehound was sending direct messages back and forth with the official Chipotle Mexican Grill Twitter account after Kempner heard from a couple friends they heard Palehound songs at different restaurants across America. "I just assumed I was on some kind of playlist and chose to milk the opportunity because we love Chipotle," says Kempner. "It's been a weird week, in a good way."

Music dreams are coming true in 2018 as well, with the band set to release the seven-inch YMCA Pool b/w Sea of Blood on Saddle Creek January 26.

"When I was in middle school, I was like, 'Wouldn't it be so sick to ever do anything with Saddle Creek,'" says Kempner, a huge fan of the co-founder Bright Eyes when she was younger. The two songs, recorded in the Nashville home studio of Bully's Alicia Bognanno, is part of Saddle Creek's Document Series where a band from outside its roster shares unreleased music and an artist-curated zine.

Kempner wanted to revamp an old song and this gave her a chance to record "Sea of Blood," a track originally written when she was 17. The opportunity came up around the same time Palehound was recording A Place I'll Always Go. "I wanted to use some old stuff that was just lying around and that I was still proud of but just hadn't been able to fit onto anything else."

After IDOW, the band heads on a North American tour with Toronto's Weaves. In the Dead of Winter will mark the first time the Boston band visits Halifax, although Kempner did visit the province with her grandmother as a child but has no memories of the trip. "It's cool because we haven't toured in a few months," she says, "so we're kind of itching to play a show and it's fun to just kind of tour."


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