As the year begins to draw to a close and as we begin to mentally build our individual top albums of 2015 lists, the only debate in my mind about Painted Palms’ album Horizons and that list is whether it’s going to take the number one or number two spot. After the unbelievably catchy 2014 single “Spinning Signs” raised my expectation, 2015 left me with no doubt that this SF pair has perfected the art of precisely building sonic momentum into a heavenly psychedelic whirlwind.


God bless the music calendar. Following this summer’s release of Painted Palms’ sophomore full-length, Horizons, came tour support and an LA show at The Roxy. After missing their last stop in LA at The Satellite, I wasn’t about to miss this run with Small Black, and the new album’s overwhelmingly dance-friendly beats brought an antler-wearing, neon-clad party-ready audience to join me at The Roxy.


For a group already so adept at astounding breakdowns, the live performance is like the album on steroids. Extensions on extensions of cascading keys and bonus material left listeners in awe of the idyllic tones coming from frontmen Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme. With Donohue laying down an infectious foundation of engulfing synth-pop, Prudhomme’s guitar and vocals steered the songs to the soaring pinnacles we’ve come to love and expect from Painted Palms. Highlight of the night is a hard tie between the throwback to “Spinning Signs” and the girl stage right who did not stop dancing the entire evening. Not once.

For anyone unfamiliar with the music of Painted Palms, feel free to introduce yourself with “Gemini.” To say it’s the best of the album isn’t quite possible as the LP is the most solid collection of songs the band has released thus far.

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