New Album Review

“Nicks and Grazes” by Palm Album Review

Palm is a garage psych band from Philadelphia who just released their third full album, “Nicks and Grazes” Oct. 14 of this year.

Palm is made of drummer Hugo Stanley, bassist Gerasimos Livitsanos and vocalists and guitarists Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt.

I am happy to say this was my first experience listening to this band, and I am glad to have discovered them when I did. “Nicks and Grazes” has so many great highlights, and could absolutely be the project that results in a major breakthrough for this band.

It is clear this band is pulling from many influences to mold their album into what is is. There are elements of rhythmic electronic, free spirited rock and sheer aggressive noise. This album is transparent in its exploratory nature. It does not belong to one genre, instead seamlessly dips into multiple.

To jump right into the individuals tracks, “Touch and Go’ and “Feathers” are bold intros to the album. This band does such an excellent job of integrating the pure sounds of guitars, drums and vocals with a jarring collage of electronica.

Most notably in “Feathers”, they channel the same energy as fellow garage psych band Spirit of the Beehive. I really love Eve Alpert’s voice in this track. Her voice is extremely clear and their lyrics are clean and concise:

“Make it up / Like a performer / I’m gonna make it up / Like I’m devout”

As the album progresses, her voice slowly begins to dissolve into the music and comes the rhythm itself. This is very prominent in “Eager Copy”. The mystic vocal and heavy keys almost dance throughout the track, both empowering and dissolving each other.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the album proceeds after the vocal and elerontic struggle within “Eager Copy”.

Following track, “Brille” is almost like waiting room music– as if it is waiting for something to load. This non-vocal track is airy and light, with sudden moments of harsh clangs and aystemmical rythym.

The track opens up to “On The Sly”, one of the most vocal dominate songs on the album. It taps into the roots of garage psych, really focusing on pure guitar, drums and distant lyrics. They really tone down the use of electronic elements in this song to bright light to their unity as a band. They achieve such a confident sound here.

A little further into the album they dive completely into noise and electronic genres. “Suffer Dragon” is almost beyond description. If you enjoy pure noise, this is the highlight for you. It is chaotic yet calm, dismantled yet unified. It brought a very uneasy feeling to the album. Although the beginning is a simply so much noice, it quickly mellows into a tune reminiscent of music by C418.

“Mirror Mirror” follows, and may be my favorite highlight of the album. This track does a great job of unifying many of the explorations within the entire project. I really enjoy the electronic quality achieved at the end of this track.

The final two tracks “Tumbleboy” and “Nicks and Grazes” deserve much praise. This entire album is very bold, these tracks do a great job of tying it all together and lifting the listener out of the composition. They are a fitting end to such a varied album.

This album was a treat a listen to. It is a great example of orderly chaos in music. The noise they are able to achieve here is destined for growth.

I’ll be keeping an ear out for anything new from Palm. If you are interested in seeing them live, they have a show in Durham, NC on Nov. 18. For tickets and information you can visit the venue website.

By Michelangelo

I'm also a DJ at WKNC and co-host Saloon Tunes every Friday morning 8 to 10am!