This ‘Fake Palms’ article was written by Fay Lenehan, a GIGsoup contributor
Originating in lead-singer Michael le Riche’s bedroom in Toronto, Fake Palms‘ self-titled LP sees the band stepping out of the bedroom and into the studio.
Bringing on board other members from the Toronto underground music scene, ‘Fake Palms’ is a collection achieving the perfect balance between stripped-back scuzz and dreamy pop layers, with some tracks hailing from as far back as 2011. This LP could easily be a mess, with disjointed influences from a variety of scenes like punk, surf, pop and grunge. However, Fake Palms know how to nail taking a grungy, jagged riff and mixing in soaring layers to create a complex and dark LP that knows how to hit you where you can feel it.
From the often undecipherable foam that is le Riches’ lyrics, themes of distress, weariness and a longing for something new emerge from a sea of noise. The album pounds in with ‘Fever Dreams’ and barely comes up for air until the tranquil near-silence of the 50 second interlude, which punctuates the LP and keeps the tracks from feeling too repetitive.
The band pride themselves on keeping with their underground origins and avoid using any unnecessary extras. And it’s this four-guys-and-their-guitars mindset which gives the LP its raw simplicity. Not taking it too seriously, le Riche himself cites that track ‘Sparkles’ took two hours from initial idea to completion. This approach gives the tracks a certain charm, a unique ability to be effortless whilst demanding attention and showing a dark and emotional underbelly.
Strap in for a bumpy one with Fake Palms, as this LP is a cohesive and dark ride, with superficial strip-backed simplicity that wears away with each listen to reveal a complex collection that is definitely worth a listen.
‘Fake Palms’ is out now via Buzz Records.