It was the great 20th-century pop poet Jewel who once sang, “My hands are small, I know/But they’re not yours, they are my own.” If those hands were paler, they may have in fact felt larger, and perhaps the singer wouldn’t have been so fucking selfish about her skin paws.
Pale Hands, on the other, erm, hand, continue to roll out lush, dreamy electro-pop compositions that sound larger than a project with just two members, and today announced the release of their debut LP, Spirit Lines, due October 28. Listen to the band’s latest single, a haunting echo-pop butterfly of a tune called “Juventud,” below, which takes its cue from other Pale Hands-affiliated bands like Velah and Static of the Gods and offers a vibe that combines modern electronics with a ’90s new age pop feel.
“Spirit Lines is our musical interpretation of magic realism and pop surrealism; we were inspired by the work of artists and writers such as Mark Ryden, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell,” says singer Jen Johnson. “The name of the album is taken from the concept of the ‘weaver’s pathway,’ which is a special line that indigenous Navajo weavers intentionally place in their textiles. A ‘spirit line’ is a deliberate mistake in the pattern that has various symbolic meanings. The meaning that inspired us the most while making this record was the idea that the pursuit of perfection stunts your creativity, and a spirit line frees you from that constraint.”
Many of the compositions on Spirit Lines draw from Johnson’s past struggles. “I had a lot of shit go down in the last few years, I lost some close family members,” she adds. “There was lot of sadness. Coming out of that, it brought out a different kind of music in me.”