When we first talked to Painted Palms duo of cousins Chris Prudhomme and Reese Donohue, they had just moved into the same house in San Francisco, rocked us with the Nothing Lasts Long EP and hinted at the possibility and prospect of an upcoming album. Now that they have taken on the monolithic task of recording a full-length for Polyvinyl Records, Chris and Reese hit us with a listen to the infinite pop mesmerizer of their title track, “Forever”. The only way to begin to describe the feel of this song is to approximate how your baby-boomer relatives must have felt when they lowered their turntable's arm onto the wax surface of Sgt. Peppers.
The opening has the sound of passing freight trains, with oscillation of a slowed-whirring disc that creates a kind of industrial grade sense of euphoric hypnosis. Days bleed together, things become hard to remember, heads feel like the weather, as Chris and Reese concoct a dramatic pop elaboration on the art of hanging on to one's self. The Palms succeed at creating this kind of personal pulpit, or their own kind of confessional altar where the uncertainties shared in the lyrics express the doubting gospel of, “I don't know what to be”, in the tune of a head nodding anthem fit for any venue, and every venue. The eternal appeal of “Forever” exists somewhere in a sort of “Lucy in the Sky” revelation, like a sign or musical epiphany. Flying high off the tour trails with Of Montreal and exhibiting excellence in electric organ sound selection; let “Forever” steal you away into the great title track void of eternity.
Through the ranges of cell phones and data signals, we got a hold of Painted Palms' Reese Donohue while the duo was rolling through the desert on their tour bus to talk about the new album and new single, “Forever”.
Painted Palms enjoyed quite an exciting summer, how would you all describe Summer 2013 riding off the buzz from the Nothing Lasts Long EP, playing a variety of gigs, fests and more?
We had our heads down for a long time when we were writing this record. It served its purpose, but we don't wanna do that again just yet.
With the forthcoming Forever disc in the works for a bit now, how do you feel the Lasts Long extended player affected and lent an influence to the full-length?
Nothing Lasts Long EP was something we wrote after we thought we finished the album, just to do something casual. We'd been keeping a lot of songs to ourselves for so long that it felt good to just get rid of something. We ended up liking two of those enough to slip them on the record.
When we talked to you during the early pre-recording stages of Forever, you described the prospect of a full album as some kind of a monolithic undertaking. Was the recording process of Forever indeed, monolithic?
Speaking of monolithic, or something more like indie-pop-monumental, this song “Forever” absolutely decimates everything. What was it like writing something that is fit to take on all the big concept pop numbers ever recorded in one swipe?
Thanks. It was one of the more intuitive songs on the album. Chris went into the studio to write vocals, and the chorus melody and lyrics all happened at once. It just kind of came out that way and we didn't want to change it.
How did this become the title track for the album?
We considered calling the album Soft Hammer after track 5 and at the last minute decided Forever was more appropriate.
Painted Palms plans for winter 2013/2014, leading up to the release of Forever?
We just finished shooting a music video with a two dudes from Adult Swim's Hot Package and Tim and Eric's Absolutely production company that we're psyched to share. Other than that, making new songs to give away.
Painted Palms' Forever will be available January 14 from Polyvinyl Records.