"Cinnamon" by PALEHOUND

Beautiful self-destruction
Impulse control seems to be something that many artists struggle with mightily. Whether its sex, drugs, toxic relationships, or just reckless behavior in general, it is impossible for many to stay away from the things that they know are self-destructive, creating heaps of internal conflict, which, luckily for us, makes excellent kindling for raging artistic fires. Indie trio Palehound’s track “Cinnamon,” off of their debut LP Dry Food, recounts singer/guitarist Ellen Kempner’s difficulties with controlling her most damaging impulses. Reminiscent of Mac DeMarco’s “Ode to Viceroy,” “Cinnamon” has a hazy, bedroom-like quality to it; Kempner’s voice is somewhat muted and subdued, in solemn acceptance of her bad habits. Although backed by wildly winding, warbling guitar patterns, much of the song remains relatively calm, only picking up steam with the help of drummer Jesse Weiss’ jazz-inspired efforts that briefly switch to more of a thrashing punk style during the equally brief choruses.
Near the end of “Cinnamon,” when it feels like there is going to be a loud, climactic finish, the track actually slows down significantly and fades out with Kepmner’s profound realization that through all her struggles, her life isn’t so bad after all, “God, I have a pretty life/ It made me cry.” Winner of New Artist of the Year at the 2015 Boston Music Awards, Palehound has a lovely sound that brings musical complexity and honest lyrics back into the often stale world of semi-acoustic indie rock.