Atmosphere is the operative word for this debut album from Boston “dream pop” duo, Pale Hands.  Comprised of singer Jen Johnson and husband/musical partner Mike Latulippe, these nine songs are mellow, groove-y and have that soundtrack feel but is very warm and embracing.  Spirit Lines is a quality antidote for chilly and dark autumn evenings.

Starting with “Locusts”, Johnson’s silky vocals work perfectly with the melody and electronic drum patterns; the chorus has a nice hook and is a good introduction.  “Tied Up” has an ’80’s synth (that word will be used, yes) ballad body and a visual feel – you can almost imagine a futuristic carousel; “Seismic” has well-balanced time shifts and deliciously crisp harmonies on the chorus.  “Fanatic” is slower, but catchy as all get-out; “Under/Over” is the album’s standout – big, bold and Jen Johnson’s vocals are filled with an emotion that leaps out of the speakers.

All in all, I like it.  A lot.  It has boldness, terrific production and songs that are filled with color and life.  An excellent start for Pale Hands, no doubt.





About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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