+ The Ambience Affair
Tickets on sale Thursday July 12th priced €15 (including booking fee) from www.whelanslive.com, www.tickets.ie www.ticketmaster.ie & Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. 0818 719 300 – Republic of Ireland customers 0844 277 4455 – Northern Ireland customers 00353 1 456 9569 – International customer
Brooklyn, NY’s Exitmusic — comprised of Devon Church and Boardwalk Empire actress Aleksa Palladino — released their second album, Passage, on May 22nd. Passage is a collection of newly-written songs and some of their older tunes that received some new coats of paint. Here, the two tethers that make up Exitmusic’s sound — one stirring atmospherics, one of grandiose and thoughtful pop — are let to bow further out than before. They are, however, also pulled into a tighter, sharper knot at the center. There are big, emotional dynamic shifts, and a wave-crashing momentum across the set without ever breaking a sustained feeling of tenderness. It’s dream-pop for those of us whose dream lives are Lawrence of Arabia-epic in scope: lulling, apocalyptic, celestial, triumphant.
“True to her classical pedigree, Palladino is an incredibly versatile singer, able to hurtle gracefully from a Victoria Legrand whisper at the start of “The Modern Age” to a strident command by the time she strangles the tune’s final refrain. She sends up smoke during weird waltz “The Night” and plumes of grey during the appropriately named “Storms”. Above the outwardly building patter of “White Noise”, she shadows the unwavering cool of Zola Jesus.” – Pitchfork
Video for Passage
Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with mixer Nicholas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter), Church and Palladino, along with the assistance of new bandmates drummer Dru Prentiss and live electronics by Nicholas Shelestak, built on the chilling, beautiful aesthetic they had created as a duo when recording at home. The result is a sound that is more powerful and more nuanced, covering broad oceans of emotional terrain. Opener and title track “Passage” is like watching a great shifting of tides through rapid time-lapse photography, introducing new dynamics in one magnificent breath. It is a statement of intent that tears down the Victorian boudoir gauze found on previous efforts. The ghosts are still piercing the veil, but now they’re throwing chairs. The song begins gently, with candlelight piano plucks, distant explosions on the horizon, aching breaths and moans. But in moments, the oceans swell and lurch as it detonates into a shower of brilliant shrapnel.
Video for The Night
Elsewhere, on album standout “The Night,” Exitmusic’s gaze moves upwards with chiming, blurry guitars, the heavenly sighs of Palladino in the background and one of the album’s finest choruses in the foreground. And “Storms” sounds like Peng-era Stereolab as seen through a fun house carnival mirror. The album has a bona fide, fist-pumping anthem — “The Modern Age” — and closes elegantly with the starkly devastating “Sparks of Light.” Simply put: This is arena goth.
Video for The Hours
Passage is a longtime in the making, and certainly worth the wait. Church and Palladino started writing together several years ago, when the Canadian-born Church moved to New York City, Palladino’s home, following a year teaching English in Taiwan and India. Their collective sonic interests — layers, textures, churning, spacious guitars (Palladino had been playing hers since age 12), blinking electronics, shimmering vocals — created a fruitful writing partnership immediately. Their songs began to take on new dimensions when the pair moved to Los Angeles a year later, finally committing their compositions to the recording process. A few twists and turns — and a move back to New York City — later, Exitmusic found a home with Secretly Canadian who released their first EP, From Silence, in Fall 2011. Critical raves for the four song collection poured in globally, with everyone from New York Magazine to The Guardian heralding the band’s arrival. With the new live line-up, Exitmusic will have toured with artists such as Phantogram, School of Seven Bells, The Joy Formidable and A Place To Bury Strangers.
“The freakishly talented duo of Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church always makes me think of two sweet kids strolling hand-in-hand into Armageddon” – Los Angeles Citybeat.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).