Looking back at previous pieces I have done on Pale Honey it is clear that somehow I always end up referring to what their previous steps have been. Their early releases were rightly critically acclaimed, and it’s great to watch an act grow.
No musical act grows in a vacuum – and it’s so cliched to compare them to other duos, so I won’t here -but with the release of a handful of tracks over the last twelve months, it’s clear that they have *cough* broadened their musical palate.
Sometimes a band’s determination to grow beyond their first album can end up giving listeners that seems to have no connection with what preceded it. Pale Honey have managed to draw links with their self-titled debut, but managed not to repeat the tricks of it (aside from writing great songs, that is). The atmosphere of ‘The Heaviest Of Storms’ is a particular highlight. It shows off their Nordic-noir take on Scandi-pop at its best.
Do they sound like a different band? No -‘ Real Thing’ provides the strongest link with their debut -but Devotion is a huge leap forward, and gets even better on repeated listens.
Gothenburg duo Pale Honey were a fresh delight when they released their self-titled debut in 2015. Guitarist Tuva Lodmark and drummer Nelly Daltrey had bonded over a love of PJ Harvey and Queens Of The Stone Age at school. As a two piece inevitably they were compared to the White Stripes but the reality was listeners could see that they had their own sound.
Back in October, the band released a new track ‘Real Thing’ which suggested that they had kept their edge and that the long-awaited second album will feature more of the same. But the release of a new track ‘Why Do I Always Feel This Way?’ stops you in your tracks.
The grungey guitars are nowhere to be heard. Instead we have yearning vocals, ice-cold synthesizers and a completely different side to Pale Honey that we might have expected. As with previous work, it has been produced by Anders Lagerfors. Clocking in at six minutes, it holds the attention and begs for repeated plays. With that new album set for release later this year, it will be interesting to see and hear how they have developed.
…and for both completeness, and contrast, here is that previous single ‘Real Thing’:
When the debut single from Pale Honey ‘Youth’ arrived a few months ago, it was clear that the Swedish duo of Tuva Lodmark (vocals and guitar) and Nelly Daltry (drums) might well be something special. Acclaimed by much of the media, in a just world this would have translated into chart hits and front covers (this is not a just world). Their debut EP Fiction came out last year and had already shown much promise. So now arrives their debut album and eyes and ears are upon them to see if it can deliver upon the promise.
It does. In Spades. The aforementioned ‘Youth’ and ‘Fiction’ and ‘Fish’ from the EP are here along with seven new tracks. Much has been made in term of positive comparisons to who Pale Honey sound like, and there’s no need to do that again here. What you do get is a duo who can deliver sparseness and switch quickly to the sound of noise that bands with many more members would envy being able to deliver.
From the opening attitude of ‘Over Your Head’ to the brooding magnificence of album closer ‘Sleep’ which brings the pace down with serious style, this is a debut that is genuinely fresh and exciting. Don’t let this just be a critically acclaimed album, spread the word!
Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Pale Honey are a duo consisting of Tuva Lodmark (guitar and vocals) and Nelly Daltrey (drums). They have been described as being like early PJ Harvey or Sleater-Kinney. Whilst the format of singer/guitarist and drummer has become quite popular over the last few years, their debut single ‘Youth’ suggests that there is much that they might have up their sleeves. There’s been quite a bit of acclaim for this track online, which comes out this Monday.
Their self-titled debut will be out on May 4, in the meantime, turn this up loud and play again and again!