NPR logo Song Premiere: Palehound, 'Cushioned Caging'

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Song Premiere: Palehound, 'Cushioned Caging'

Ellen Kempner of Palehound. Chad Kamenshine/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Chad Kamenshine/Courtesy of the artist

Ellen Kempner of Palehound.

Chad Kamenshine/Courtesy of the artist

Ellen Kempner of Palehound. Chad Kamenshine/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Chad Kamenshine/Courtesy of the artist

Ellen Kempner of Palehound.

Chad Kamenshine/Courtesy of the artist

Hear The Song

01Molly

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  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    Molly
    Album
    Dry Food
    Artist
    Palehound
    Label
    Exploding in Sound Records
    Released
    2015

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  • from Dry Food
  • by Palehound

The first line of Palehound's "Cushioned Caging" begins in the middle of a thought. "And when the organ starts a-playin," sings frontwoman Ellen Kempner, whose voice arrives in a crashing wave of sound after a twangy, beachy one-chord intro. It sends a message that resonates through the rest of the too-brief song: This ain't the half of it.

Kempner has the sort of vocal moxie that can't be stifled by lo-fi production and fuzzed-out guitar. Her voice is not quite playful, but it's vivacious and infectious. Kempner's songwriting has a wry, wary edge, but her songs come wrapped in bright packaging that's hard to resist. Just three minutes long, "Cushioned Caging" is a lollipop dropped in the sand — sweet, gritty and gone before we're done with it. Good thing there's more where it came from.

Palehound's debut album, Dry Food, is out Aug. 14 on Exploding in Sound Records.