Album of the Week: Palm – Rock Island

Rock Island by Palm
Rock Island by Palm

During this era of music, it’s easy to disregard innovation. Some people think that every possible style has already been conceived so there’s no chance of discovering something new. Through the nonsense, a band comes along to push the envelope while making sounds that leave the ears in awe. Philadelphia math pop quartet Palm is an excellent example of a band harnessing their own originality with their second LP Rock Island being released Feb 9 via Carpark Records. It’s an album that’ll put the senses in a trance while offering a variety of sonic dimensions.

The guitars courtesy of dual vocalists Eve Halpert and Kasra Kurt make the new album stand apart. There’s a consistently abstract chord structure while Halpert and Kurt add sheens of harmony in each song. Bass guitarist Gerasimos Livitsanos holds it down with a laid-back foundation, while Hugo Stanley on drums contributes jazzy tones. Palm delivers music that makes the listener start thinking. From start to finish, Rock Island embarks on a mental voyage that conveys weirdness in accessible ways.

In my opinion, I think being fearless is a prime ingredient when it comes to creating something different from the artistic norm. Musical progression is important to move culture forward: The last thing we need is to be bored by the things that we love. It’s a depressing notion, but, in today’s day and age, the mainstream seems to be consistently rehashing the past for the sake of nostalgia. Palm is the antithesis of that by not being afraid to be contrasting; let’s see how that is so by taking a look at my top tracks off of the Album of the Week:


With a wild beginning, “Composite” has breakdowns that set everything up and complement the complex rhythms well by maintaining a mellow vibe. “Heavy Lifting” exemplifies the laid-back æsthetic through the upbeat and smooth sounds; Stanley’s jazzy skills on drums, mentioned earlier, shine like a diamond. Another great one is “Forced Hand,” all over the place but also poignant.

New England live music addicts can check out Palm at Great Scott in Allston, MA, in the Boston metro area on Feb 16. It promises to be a fun time at one of the coolest places to see a show in the region. While you’re there, grab a copy of Rock Island. It’ll pique your interest instantly after you press play.