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The sophomore album from Boston trio Palehound, A Place I'll Always Go, is a frank look at love and loss, cushioned by indelible hooks and gently propulsive, fuzzed-out rock. Ellen Kempner, Palehound's vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter explains, "A lot of it is about loss and learning how to let yourself evolve past the pain and the weird guilt that comes along with grief." Palehound's first release for Polyvinyl is also about the light that gradually dawns after tragedy, with songs like the bass-heavy "Room" and the gentle dreamy album closer "At Night I'm Alright With You" feeling their way through blossoming love.
A Place I'll Always Go builds on the promise of Palehound's critically acclaimed 2015 album Dry Food with songs that are slightly more reserved, but no less powerful. "Flowing Over" rides a sweetly hooky guitar line, with Kempner using the fuzzed-out upper register of her voice as a sort of anxious counterpoint to the riff's infectious melody while the swirling "If You Met Her" and the piano-tinged "At Night I'm Alright With You" represent the opposing poles of the record, one about love and one about death.
Part of what makes A Place I'll Always Go so striking is the way it channels feelings of anxiety - heart-racing moments both exhilarating and crushing - into songs that feel well-worn and comforting. The hushed confessionalism of "Carnations" and the fugue state described in the stripped-down "Feeling Fruit" are snapshots of moments marked by big, confusing feelings, but they're taken with compassion and honesty – two qualities that have defined Palehound's music from the beginning.