All the time you want to sing along. Not like a rock band that acts as an entertainer, only for festival meadows instead of the hotel pool. Also not like punk, where every line you sing along with can carry the childish disappointment of actually having to move out with mother. No, Palila play music for people with life on the clock and painful memories in the luggage. With real reasons for wistfulness and melancholy, which they pack into a sound that makes you ask yourself with moist eyes, “Where have you been, old friend?”
Where have you been, classic indie rock that can be so fragile and compact at the same time? Stumbling through life so very sincerely and at the same time thought out note for note? Where did such a voice last sound? Unabashedly pointed à la Aydo Abay, Brian Molko or Billy Corgan and yet of a completely unique color? Where were you last, such well-chosen words about mental wounds, about farewells and hopes, inner abysses and outer horizons, of which one simply no longer knows whether one can reach them at all in this life.
“Mind My Mind.” The title can be read like a quiet cry for help. Partly spoken aside, as if one already knows that many cannot comply with it. Mind my mind. My inner world. For it is different from yours. There the black dog roams around, “hungry for bad thoughts” (“Ramshackle Sweatheart”), and no sun of the day can drive him away. There you are groping in place, turning in circles, feeling only a burden to others (“Circles”). And if one day one is “Back on Track”, immediately comes the gnawing doubt that it can only be temporary. As if you were merely visiting the mind of a happy person.
“Mind My Mind.” The title doesn’t carry a comma, but once the twelve songs have run and you start them over again, incredulous that three men from Hamburg can understand you so well, you read along as an alternative comma, and the title becomes a sigh. Mind, My Mind, My Mind, Oh My Mind. “You carry so much more than you can bear” is one of the first lines of this record, which starts only with the voice of Matthias Schwettmann. A few words into the dark room, which immediately brightens up, because all these songs are driven by something upbeat, something uplifting, a joy of playing and crackling harmony that says “Thank you!” for about 45 minutes. Thank you to the stylistic forefathers like Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr. or Buffalo Tom and the emotional soulmates like Nada Surf, Death Cab for Cutie or Bettie Serveert, who immediately understood the meaning of the artwork, bright on the inside and gloomy on the outside, while the world is inverted in the inner sleeve, gloomy on the inside and bright on the outside.
On this sophomore album, instead of verflixt wahrlich blessed, Matthias Schwettmann, who writes all the songs and shares lyrics with bassist Christoph Kirchner, and Sascha Krüger, as a soulfully massive accent player on drums, celebrate the joyful despair that the lifelong journey toward better times is worth it – even when they remain distant. Accompanying the journey are musical friends from the rugged north: Plaiins and Entropy, Men And The Man, Kommando Kant, Fraupaul, Jurij Mondaine, Botschaft and Mon Cherie. Ron Henseler (ex-Belgrade) and Ritchy Fondermann once again helped bring this trio, which had grown into a unit, to sonic perfection in 40 days instead of the planned 20.
All this time you were singing along. Are now hoarse in voice, but full in heart. You know how rare this is today. You search for words and hope to have found the right ones. The ones that make others really listen. Mind this record, people! Mind this record.
(Oliver Uschmann)

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