Pale Honey lay the foundations for a promising future.
Label: Bolero Recordings
Released: 13th October 2017
It’s apparent from the get-go that Pale Honey had zero reservations when it came to exploring unfamiliarity in the making of their second LP, ‘Devotion’. Quite the contrary, the band embraces a full spectrum of sound, characterised by a myriad of electric guitars, percussive synthesisers and catchy basslines.
Tuva Lodmark’s languid vocals act as an almost imperceptible extension of the album’s often mellow guitar riffs, especially in more atmospheric tracks like ‘The Heaviest of Storms’. Nonetheless, the singer’s characteristically lackadaisical tones are emphatically juxtaposed with the bold and aggressive distorted guitars which feature in tracks ‘Someone’s Devotion’ and ‘Golden’. Here lies the stand-out feature of this album: the antithesis.
‘Real Thing’ is a track which best represents the sense of variety packed into Devotion. Lurching classic rock guitar riffs, tropical metallic percussion and space-age synths all make an appearance, often simultaneously. The eclectic combination of cross-genre instruments is solid evidence of Pale Honey’s determination to experiment but sometimes puts the new record at risk of sounding as if ‘all but the kitchen sink’ has been thrown into the mix.
The band’s manipulation of straightforward, looping bass riffs throughout the album draws a certain inspiration from anthems of the 80s and 90s. There’s a striking resemblance between the intro to ‘Lesson Learned’ and the iconic riff featured in Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’, as well as between the flanged bass guitars played in the standout single ‘Get These Things Out of My Head’ and New Order’s instantly recognisable intro to ‘Age of Consent’. This simulation of past classics, whether adopted consciously or not, lends a degree of timelessness to ‘Devotion’, which clearly demonstrates the band’s refusal to be boxed into a single restricting genre or style.
‘Devotion’ serves as an essential stepping stone in the development of Pale Honey’s sound and lays the foundations for a promising future. Lily Beckett