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Palm Ghosts: Self-Titled Album

palm ghosts review, palm ghosts, palm ghosts self titled album, philadelphia music, sun-damaged american music, album reviewPalm Ghosts – Palm Ghosts


Release Date: Aug. 27
Our Rating: 2/5
Spec Recs: “Dr. Tiger,” “Seasons”
In One Word: Dragging


Writer’s Disclaimer: I’ll be honest, I had a bad few weeks and got swamped with work and tragic life situations and writing an album review was not on my list of priorities. But, after finally forcing myself to sit down, listen, and write, I began to feel better.

Some of the music I listened to on this album transported me to a feeling of peace, relaxation, comfort – like everything was going to be okay. So, I hope whatever you’re going through, you take the time to enjoy music, because that’s what really gets me through the tough times.

The self-titled album from Palm Ghosts started strong and decreased from there. The first two tracks are my favorite, but every track after that began to slow down and drag on and it felt as though the band was losing energy with each passing chord. The instrumentation in most of the songs are beautiful, with dreamy strings and a peaceful piano and even relaxing acoustic finger-picking.

Dr. Tiger” begins with the subtle finger-picking of an acoustic and I’m instantly taken away to a better place. The piano comes in and dances along the guitar, and when the vocals begin, I’m sold. The simple harmonies remind me of the hushed whispers of Sam Beam in Iron & Wine. In fact, this song has the same vibe you’d find in “Flightless Bird, American Mouth”: same key, same pendulum-swinging motion in the melody, and the same “aah” lullaby verse that drifts you to another dimension of peace and clarity.

Seasons” begins with a fuzzy, distant sound and drums that energize the transition. The song’s lyrics captivate me: “Hey little girl, you sure look good to me / I’ve been running around this messed-up world for as long as I can breathe / And here you come with sun-lit skies, the brightest eyes I’ve ever seen / Hey little girl, you sure look good to me.” This song offers hope and is just the love song a guy would sing to his manic pixie dream girl. The smooth string section paired with the striking is a beautiful combination. This song reminds me of a mixture of two of my favorite inspirational Beatles tunes: “Dear Prudence” and “Here Comes the Sun.

With the use of electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and brushes on the snare drum, “Airplane Jane” offers a change of pace toward a minor-filled ballad of lyrical fantasy. This song could easily be a song scrapped from a country-inspired outlaw album. After describing a story of heartbreak and learning to move on, the last verse repeats “You should still believe.”

With “Chesapeake City,” I am not intrigued by the song’s beginning. The chord structure and melody have been heard before. You can excuse yourself for having a chorus filled with vowels (“oohs” and “aahs”) over a finger-picked guitar when you have a luscious string section bowing along with the singing. On “Canaries in the Mine,” the acoustic guitar and cello begin to hush the album into a dreamscape. The lyrics describe the ups and downs of life with each passing day, and it’s here that I begin to relate to the music.

I Know You Won’t Break My Heart” begins with a programmed drumbeat that leads into a slow-dragging tune with percussive and vocal ornamentation (think Paul McCartney’s whisper “ha-ha-ha” he threw into some of his songs). The tune talks about how he realizes his life is messy and full of baggage, but he trusts that his romantic partner will never leave him during his dark times. It’s good to have support when you’re low, and this is his ode to his support. However, there is a distracting synth in the right ear of this tune that caused me to take out my headphones and even pause the song because I wasn’t sure if something in the background of my location was buzzing. It wasn’t, it was in the song. Not sure what exactly it was, but the song could have done without it.

Oh, Sleepytime!” takes you by surprise when after 12 seconds of a sad-sounding guitar, it erupts into a Spanish-filled explosion of sound. While exciting in instruments, the song drags in tempo and in melodic intensity. By the time I got to the last track, “All My Life (I’ve Been Waiting),” I really didn’t have much to say about it. Although, the last few verses of the jam session are interesting to listen to because of the trippy guitar tones and an echoey “Lo-la-lo.”

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