Review: Painted Palms – Forever

Internet collaborations have become the norm rather than the exception of late. Painted Palms’ Reese Donahue and Christopher Prudhomme are another example but whereas other bandwidth-troubling music partners aim for kinship and telepathy, these young gentleman have the advantage of being cousins. They put it to excellent use too, on the glorious debut ‘Forever’, which mixes 60’s psych pop with modern production values.

Painted Palms Album Cover

One listen to ‘Too High’ and images of The Beach Boys in space spring to mind thanks to the exuberant aura, Prudhomme’s high-pitched vocals and busy beats, not to mention the gorgeous pop melody. The addition of sleigh bells for the similarly dazzling ‘Here It Comes’ possibly brings this image even clearer into focus and then they have the audacity and charm to aim for Sgt. Pepper’s-era psych for the title track. There’s rarely time to draw breath between each song as one crafty hook follows another but when the chance finally does arrive via the elongated, glacial romance of ‘Soft Hammer’ and the sweetly seductive ‘Carousel’, they arguably prove they are even better at the slower numbers. It’s the kind of album where even a brief interlude called ‘Hope That You See It Now’ sounds magical.

Even if there’s an overdose of sugar towards the end of the record the duo still save one of their most inspired moments until last, courtesy of the perfect dreampop featured on ‘Empty Gun’. So for those who find Deerhunter a little dark for their tastes or those who want a 21st Century take on psych pop, ‘Forever’ provides the solution to your problem.

Web Sites:
Painted Palms Official Site
Polyvinyl Records Label and Shop Site
Stream of Painted Palms – Forever

Further Listening:
Beach Boys, Deerhunter, Paul J Fox


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