There’s not enough mind-bending beat-driven art rock out there, for our taste, so when we come across a unique proggy project like Night Palm, we get psyched for both the present and the future of the genre. Fellow Walking Papers fans will also be interested to know that Will Andrews and Gregor Lothian are involved in this very different ambient rock/electronica release. Andrews (drums) and Chris Cullman (bass VI, bass guitar, electric guitar, synths), who have been collaborating for over two decades, have created a scintillating six-song instrumental EP under the name Night Palm. This intricate self-titled debut – officially out today (find it here) – is a wild and equally cathartic adventure for your brain.
First track “Doomsday!” makes one feel as if they’ve dipped a toe in another dimension; an initially mysterious world that turns out to be filled with bliss. The time signature transforms in a similar way, flowing from a 6/8 intro to 4/4 to a 5/8 outro – and provides the first taste of Night Palm’s coolly capricious sound. Second song “Dutch Courage” is so rhythmically thrilling, we’re certain it could persuade young kids to take music lessons. As Cullman’s relentless riffing persuades you to move your body, Andrews’ sneaky “12/8 ish” beat with a 6/8 outro is bound to shake up your usual headbanging pattern. The soothing-yet-spine-chilling “Outbound” is where saxophonist Gregor Lothian brings his warm sound into the mix, and the song is further enhanced by Tacket Brown on vibraphone. The triplets that start the song create a serene “Moonlight Sonata” kind of vibe, and Andrews and Cullman go on to surprise us again – shifting from 4/4 to a buoyant 6/8 outro. The purely-ambient “Hyades” that comes next is like the musical version of watching the wind carry flower petals away.
“Desert Solitaire” rocks in a peaceful way, thanks to the glossy soundscape of guitar sounds concocted by Cullman. Closing track “Red Shift” features tiny unexpected twists from both Andrews and Cullman and really feels like a meaningful finale. It could accompany the last level of a single-player video game, right before you fight the final boss and win. Night Palm’s debut EP was engineered by Patrick Fouhy at Secret Studio in Bothell, Washington with additional engineering by Jason Shavey at Seattle’s Synergy Productions. It was mixed by Night Palm and Jason Shavey and mastered by Streaky Mastering. Remember to follow Night Palm on Instagram, Facebook, Bandcamp, and Spotify, so that you can later brag that you’ve known about this exciting stuff from the start.
Article: Olivia Isenhart