There are layers of lush instrumentation and a dreamy intergalactic aura to the new single from Sydney artist LOVER (the nome de plume of Oliver Kirby. The slightly surreal atmosphere – a dreamy, melodic fugue – is matched by the arresting visuals of the accompanying video. What LOVER does is infect an electronic wash with his slightly disconnected but golden vocals while subtle changes to the ebb and flow of the track create a sense of uncertainty and anxiety.
The track was written with fellow Sydney musician Nick Ward, who also assisted in production alongside Les Priest (LANY) and Sam Gidley, with additional guitar from Campbell Burns (Vacations). It follows an earlier release ‘Wow’.
‘Palm Reader’ was started in my second session with Nick Ward, right after we recorded ‘Wow’. We had rough vocals from the day and decided to see if we could push the song further, like I did vocally in ‘Wow’, by adding the PC Music/hyperpop-inspired outro. I rewrote the verse multiple times and had my friend Campbell from Vacations re-record the guitars to get that huge, organic sound. I was lucky enough to have Les from LANY hear the track and want to help out. He really took the production to a whole new level and mixed all the elements from Campbell, Nick and I together so well. Lyrically I was thinking about how the people close to you are often way more perceptive to the path you are going down. I thought the Palm Reader was a great analogy for this.
The video sets the scene with a surreal intro with a prescient palm reader before a jangling guitar flows in over a syncopated percussion. Pace changes and atmospheric movements provide brief interludes but the soft melancholic vocals sparkle throughout, while the video imagery creates a cognitive dissonance. This is fresh and innovative sound and vision and is quite enthralling:
‘Palm Reader’ is out now and available to stream here.