Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Too High” by Painted Palms from the 2014 album Forever on Polyvinyl Record Co.
Led by cousins Reese Donahue and Christopher Prudhomme, San Francisco’s Painted Palms specialize in vibrant, patched-together pop songs that feel as kaleidoscopically buoyant. The duo’s somewhat pieced-together compositions were initially the a byproduct of their email-based songwriting process, but once Prudhomme joined Donahue out in San Francisco (the duo are originally both from Lafayette, Louisiana), Painted Palms became their focus. Initially experimenting at home before moving into a live setting, where they’re accompanied by other musicians to recreate their Ableton Live-meets-two-inch-tape style of psychedelically-colored pop gems. When recording Forever, the band’s debut album, the duo continued to use the piecemeal recording process they used when they lived in different locations, resulting in an album that keeps the band’s colorful collages intact. “Too High”, the album’s opening track, wastes no time bringing the listener into the pair’s musical landscape. Propelled by a “Fireworks“-esque mixture of kinetic momentum and well-timed surges and energy, Prudhomme’s vocal performance alternates between soaring and fading over the track, pickup up energy with each magnetic swell. Like a small child after one too many juice boxes, “Too High” is playfully chaotic and unabashedly enthusiastic about it; all the fun of getting a little too messy without having to worry about cleaning up afterwards.
Starting in March, Painted Palms will play a series of shows in California and the Southwest before heading down to Austin for SXSW 2014. Hear about any new tour dates at their website, keep up with the band at their Facebook page, and, below, watch the band play “Falling Apart” live on KEXP in 2011.