By Erin Hussey:
Opening up day two at Boston Calling, Allston based Palehound fronted by singer-songwriter Ellen Kempner, discerned herself from the typical indie fare featured at one of Boston’s favorite festivals. But despite this, Palehound remained grounded before their set with the tweet, (live tweeting from a state of inadequacy at Boston Calling) – @palehound, evidently just as stoked to be here as any concert goer in the crowds.
In the last year, Palehound has made waves in the local Boston scene, as well as in the national music scene after touring and being featured on Pitchfork and NPR. Kempner released her debut LP ‘Dry Food’ in 2015, which outlines the trials and tribulations of the search for oneself within a post-breakup slump.
Dipping into a space somewhere between shoegaze and indie-garage rock, Palehound eased the crowd into their set with Kempner’s breathy vocals on “Healthier Folk”. Backed by raw guitar and heavy drums, she mused on millennial loneliness, “Mouth ajar watching cuties hit the half pipe / I only feel half ripe / Around healthier folk.”
Much of Palehound’s lyricism, particularly off Dry Food, alludes to her first major heartbreak, which has served as much of her inspiration. Reverb tinged and twangy favorites such as “Molly” and “Cinnamon” had the floral printed and baseball cap bearing crowd bopping and swaying as the set progressed. Though it was clear a majority of the crowd wasn’t too familiar with Palehound, they effortlessly made a significant amount of new fans.
Palehound closed with their 2013 melodic claim to fame, “Pet Carrot”, a tune lamenting on a lack of emotional connection to those around her. Kempner and her band members continued to be humbled before leaving the stage, as she gave a shout out to her mother and sister in the crowd, and urged fans to become a part of Boston’s ever growing local music scene.