I first discovered Palehound (Ellen Kemper) by chance encounter while browsing Apple Music. The streaming service told me "you might like this" and well, sometimes it just knows. The first album from the Brooklyn artist I dug my teeth into was the latest LP, Black Friday. The first words of the first song on the album (Company) go as such: "So if you quit smoking, will you just start drinking?"
As someone who had actually quit smoking cigarettes by just increasing the amount I drank (if you're drunk enough you don’t care about the nicotine withdrawal, certainly this is science and not dependence transference), I immediately felt as though Kemper had cracked open my skull and read the lines of my brain and was now singing about things I thought and felt. That’s the mark of a great songwriter. Clever and catchy continued to be a recurring theme as I listened to more from the artist and this newest single is no exception. A quick, folky, blue-grass style tale that regales the dichotomy of carefree youth burdened by an unshakable threat of calamity that seems more by design of fate than unfortunate happenstance.
Kemper's own words on the song are:
"This is a true story about a day I had back in July, where a few friends came to meet us at a swimming hole. At first it was a blissful day which then took a sharp turn when a bunch of biblical omens came suddenly from nowhere, water snakes, dark storm clouds, hail. It felt very familiar, and seemed to mock us."
Short as it is the song packs in a lot of thought and heart. The line "How long 'til we look back and say 'I cant believe we lived that way'" is such a good and relatable line it's honestly unbelievable it hasn’t been written before. There's just something about being human that Palehound seems to get. Give the song a listen and give me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to check out more from Palehound's discography as well.