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“What was old is new again”, an old idiom often used in day-to-day life. This expression, though, could be the slogan for music today with the large number of cover songs being performed and re-imagined plus cover and tribute albums being the latest craze (thanks to Ryan Adams!). In addition, many artists and bands are channeling the past for inspiration, whether it’s sou-pop, psychedelic rock, Laurel Canyon-style folk and rock, ’80s soft rock, and on and on. Some have been more successful than others in capturing the original sound of the eras they’re emulating, and then there are the few that truly transport you back decades as if that band was from that era. PALMAS is one such band, whose new EP, To The Valley, is filled with tracks straight out of a jukebox playing hits from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Call it jukebox pop-rock or classic rock if you will, but however PALMAS’ music is labeled just know that the five main tracks are terrific.
“I Want To Know (Your Love)” has a feel-good, summery sound of The Beach Boys while the fabulous “Take My Hand” is psychedelic surf-rock that would be perfect for a spy thriller, like The Spy Who Loved Me, or if Quentin Tarantino was to make a sequel to Pulp Fiction (can you imagine John Travolta, if his character survived, and Uma Thurman repeating their dance scene to this track?).
“Sweet Water” is another jitterbug of a ’50s pop song with the band channeling Buddy Holly. “Better Guy” slows things down a bit, but this mid-tempo track retains the terrific harmonies and breezy melodies characteristic of the ’50s and ’60s. The lyrics are also ’50s-esque poetry, “I want to go driving with you, out in to the deep blue sea. I want to go dropping next to you, that’s where I want to be.” How romantic! “San Francisco Bay” adopts the same approach but played acoustically, although there’s a bit of Vampire Weekend mixed into the PALMAS’ smooth, campfire song.
With To The Valley, PALMAS have done something pretty great – making nostalgic feel contemporary, creating a handful of songs that make us recall the greatness of musicians like The Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, The Righteous Brothers, etc. For a new generation of music fans, the EP will act as a gateway to exploring the vinyl of their parents and grandparents. For older music fans, they’ll get to reminisce about the greatness of era that is being replicated today.
PALMAS are Eric Camarota (bass), Matthew Young (guitar), Adam Cantiello (guitar), Kurt Cain (vocals, organs), and Pat Degan (drums).
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