Embracing the grey area between classical composition and songwriting, Pallmer is a string duo born from late evening improvisation sessions during a particularly snowy winter in Fredericton, NB. Taking their name from the street they live on (adding an extra “L” to their name for added confusion), Pallmer’s sound is a unique mix of folk-like vocal melodies, indie-classical intricacies, ethereal minimalism, and brief moments of expansive improvisation.
Emily Kennedy (cello, vocals) and Mark Kleyn (viola) had performed with each other in classical ensembles for several years before delving into their own writing, using loop pedals and effects to expand the possibilities of their wooden instruments. Their first show was a short, blush-filled set at Reads Cafe in Fredericton, shortly before the independent venue closed its doors. Since then, the duo have performed in numerous festivals across New Brunswick, including Shivering Songs, Summer’s End Folk Festival, Flourish Festival, Festival 506, and Harvest Jazz and Blues.
This past May, Pallmer released Allude to What - a single recorded by close friend Charles Harding during a visit to Montreal. Featuring a punchy 5/4 bass line, phasing drones and glimpses of dissonance, the song is an artistic step forward for the group. To accompany its release, the duo collaborated with videographer Sarah Kierstead on a concept video featuring dancer Madison Dixon.
Just before the pandemic brought the world to a standstill, Pallmer recorded a collection of five new songs with the help of audio engineer Corey Bonnevie (of Monopolized Records) in an old church-converted-to-arts-centre in Saint John, NB. They recorded the tracks in a large dance studio in the back of the building, taking advantage of its natural resonance, and embracing the occasional noises from old water heating. Quiet Clapping is slated to be released in early 2021.