Review Summary: A feel good band feeling better.
For bands like Palmkite, their genre association hurts both them and the scene itself. Their debut demo, while derivative of the melodic guitar work of American Football, had an energy and youthful charm that nearly grabbed at the Cap'n Jazz end of Kinsella-ish music. In their simplistic, feel-good approach to songwriting, it's very easy to predict what their new demo this year sounds like. Of course it's been over a year since they've put out an official release and some progression would not be out of order, but in the long run it's the same musical project. So when listeners hear nonchalant melodic noodling contrasted by Sam Karrp's lucid vocal delivery, it's unfortunate that the two things that come to mind are only present on the forefront; the similarities to the band's previous demo and the ever-present emo aesthetics. On the forefront listeners will only note immediate innovation and progression, ignoring the subtle quirks and the context that makes The Sound of Snow
such a gorgeous release.
The opening track starts off with reverberated guitar interplay, meant to appear apathetic and harmless until it builds into a jangly acoustic motif that brings the track into full step. While with Palmkite's earlier material the instrumentation played merely as melodic support of the vocals, every rhythm change and guitar lick on this release provides to memorable affect, keeping the record lively and warm. However instead of accentuating their musicianship, Palmkite have a way of making impassive leads and little musical flourishes sound like hazy memories, innocent reflections of better times. Palmkite retain a certain charm through their lack of showcasing, sounding authentic in their modest approach to songcraft. Sam Karrp's vocals have progressed significantly, upgrading from his Mike Kinsella-esque drawl to complementing the most upbeat moments with equally youthful howls, while retaining his brilliant sentimental mumbling. His approach is incredibly verbose, endearingly tripping over run-ons such as and every piece of evidence is pointing to the idea that I'm under the influence of something that I found in your embrace
. His vaguely intimate lyrical stylings present Palmkite with the delectability of a folk group, with lively instrumentation to put context to his words.
While Palmkite work best when releasing short demos with compact tracks, The Sound Of Snowfall
doesn't have the band progressing to a definitive work of art, a solidifying album. Peers such as Snowing have found that mark through releasing an onslaught of gorgeously loose jams, while Hightide Hotel also have extended their songwriting through creating an LP of varied, yet consistent tracks. As a whole release, The Sound Of Snowfall
can be fairly homogenous, in which the band capitalizes on individual moments in songs, mixing in pop-punk sing-a-longs and aimless jamming within one track. However this goes hand-in-hand with the simplistic charm that most bands of our time seem to shy away from. With an astounding lyrical performance and equally lovable instrumental work, Palmkite show that a career-defining expansion is not past them.
You have the shyest eyes I’ve ever kissed in my life and I love you.