With energetic vocals and bright instrumentations, Painted Palms blends pop with electronics in their sound in a stunning way. The band consists of two cousins, Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme and grows to five members for live performances. Their most recent release, Forever, is their first full-length album and is a positive example of what Painted Palms can do. Painted Palms has an undeniably fresh sound that is intensely layered and fun. With various layers in their songs, it is easy for elements throughout the album to be overlapped, however, this makes the album all the more fascinating as it makes you want to listen to it on repeat to catch everything.
Formed states apart, the duo began exchanging music they had created and once they released their first EP on their label, they have established themselves as musicians. The lyrics on Forever are certainly not poetic but they do have a catchy vibe to them. Prudhomme’s vocals throughout the album are carried similarly to those of James Mercer of the Shins in the sense that both have a melodic tone in their voice and show off their range but know not to get carried away with it. Vocals remain engaging and there is an appeal in Prudhomme’s voice that is both enjoyable and lively.
Melodies on Forever are charming and their deeply layered songs shows that there is more to Painted Palms’ music than a simple rhythm and riff. Although the majority of the instrumentations in the album were made on the duo’s computers, there is still the natural sounds, such as the tambourine in “Here It Comes,” that pleasantly contrasts the heavy electronic sounds. The layering in this album can be overwhelming at times, but the structures of the songs are one of a kind.
Repeated listens to Forever is a must as that is the only way to catch all the fascinating details Painted Palms have put into their music. Even though the lyrics are somewhat lacking, this dense album shows that the duo can write and produce a good album. Painted Palms will definitely begin to make a name for themselves as they continue to develop their sound, tour, and begin to work on their second album.