Having played major roles in Emanuel and the Fear, Monuments, and/or Oceanographer, Brooklyn-based singer/multi-instrumentalist Emanuel Ayvas and guitarist Kevin Plessner are well versed in genre-bending and forward-thinking rock music. It makes perfect sense, then, that they decided to partner up as Pale Ramon (whose name comes from Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Idea of Order at Key West”). After spending a considerable amount of time writing their eponymous first LP and performing the entire thing live (with the help of three friends: Justin Hoffman, Grant Zubritsky, and David Lizmi), the pair is ready to unleash the finished studio album onto the world. Thankfully, it more than measures up to expectations, resulting in a brief yet highly infectious, fresh, and promising introduction that’s sure to delight fans of their respective other projects.
The band comments:
“To us, this debut album is a lot like one of those dreams where everything is going as fast as it possibly can. It’s like you’re flying around and aren’t really sure what’s happening. It’s part excitement at all the newness everywhere, and part, ‘Oh God! I can’t control this thing.’”
For sure, Pale Ramon oozes vibrant vitality from start to finish. For instance, opener “The Best Has Yet to Come” is life-affirmingly atmospheric, with elements of electronic and shoegaze, while “Beat Punk” is aptly described by Plessner as a “melt your face rock song” with political undercurrents. Next, “All My Ways Away” is bright and rhythmically hypnotic; “Man Made Out of Words” is multilayered and anthemic; “Don’t Take My Mind Away” brings some experimental production and poignant expressions to the mix; and “Oh Well” closes Pale Ramon with the kind of luscious yet biting closure that leaves a mark and makes you want to spin it all over again. Throughout the sequence, Ayvas’ characteristic vocals radiate as strongly as after; likewise, the duo’s arrangements never stop being accessible but striving and innovative, revealing more cherishable elements with repeated listens.
Take a listen to Pale Ramon below and see if it doesn’t take your breath away, too. Also, keep an eye out for ways to purchase the record once it’s released!