Palberta Share “The Way That You Do” w/ Video Directed by Ani Ivry-Block
Palberta5000 out January 22nd on Wharf Cat Records
Palberta‘s upcoming LP Palberta5000 is dueout in a little over a month on January 22nd, 2021 via Wharf Cat Records, and so far has seen high praise on a level unmatched in the band’s already celebrated career. After being announced with a deep-dive feature on Stereogum that explored the more expansive and pop-forward style on this new release from a band long-heralded as one of the most idiosyncratic bands in the East Coast DIY scene, the album’s early singles have earned comparisons to ESG and Delta 5 in The New York Times, being described as “everything great about Palberta” on NPR’s All Songs Considered, and garnering glowing coverage from spots like Pitchfork, NYLON, Paste, Consequence of Sound and BrooklynVegan among many others.
Now the band are returning with a final pre-release single entitled “The Way That You Do,” accompanied by a video directed by band member Ani Ivry-Block. For a band that have always projected an anarchic energy and historically been associated with a punk-adjacent DIY scene (if never quite being what could be called a punk band themselves) the track explores a gentler tone than has been typical for the band, as it focues on the penchant for harmony arrangements that often sets them apart from their contemporaries, but links these vocal forward sections together with a fanciful, and deceptively complex guitar and bass interplay that only Palberta could have created.
“In ‘The Way That You Do’ we essentially repeat the same phrase over and over with the exception of Ani’s passionate ‘I been lyyyyying,” Palberta’s Lily Konigsberg explains. “I’ve never really thought about the meaning behind the lyrics, but when I think about them now it seems like someone accusing another of deception and trickery. Also the harmonies are fucking sick. It’s our waltz!”
Palberta create the most infectious rhythms and biting instrumentation. This powerful energy combined with the angular guitar shards, rolling drum beats and delicate vocal harmonies creates the perfect combination.
Palberta5000 was recorded with Matt Labozza (PALM, Shimmer), whose Peekskill, New York, studio is located in the original home and family lamp-store of Paul Reuben (Pee Wee Herman). Fueled by carrots, celery, radishes, and peanut-butter-and-jelly bagels, they diligently tracked Palberta5000’s well-rehearsed songs in four days, never putting down more than three takes. Labozza’s recording and mix capture the band’s rollicking instrumentation and vocal precision.
“High speed, fast track, slow prose.” Palberta5000 punctuates its jagged edges with ebullient cries of “Hey!” and rounds its corners with angelic harmonies, while marching-band snares propel the album forward with a metronomic intensity that belies the sixteen tracks’ diverse time signatures and fevered pacing. Hardcore fans will recognize the band’s live staple “Corner Store,” whose heart-melting harmonies layer over irresistible croons of “I meet you anywhere you are”—a promise kept by an album that meets listeners where they are. “Big Bad Want,” another notable piece from the band’s pre-COVID sets, is Palberta’s version of fast punk, with a zig-zag bassline and a call-and-response nursery-rhyme chorus that returns for the song’s outro, stretching defiantly past the three-minute mark with the repeated mantra “Yeah (yeah) I can’t pretend what I want.”
Although Palberta have toyed with repetition and longer song structures on past recordings, Palberta5000 masterfully digs into a groove and transforms repeated phrases with a cult-like frenzy to hypnotic effect. On their slow waltz, “The Way That You Do,” and the enchanting “Red Antz,” Palberta bring the tempo down for lavish slow jams only hinted at on past efforts like Bye Bye Berta’s “Why Didn’t I.” Such tracks add a variation to Palberta5000’s well thought-out song cycle and contribute to a full album experience that will leave listeners breathless. In the fitful sleeper “Cow,” Palberta sing, “I will be there with my hand on your chest / I feel your rumbling internal mess.”
In a time of exhausting disappointment, Palberta5000 is an album that sees our internal and external messes, openly displays its fragile places, and acts as an energetic complement to the movement for positive change.
Palberta 5000 will be released on Wharf Cat Records on January 22nd, 2021. It is available for preorder here.
Ani Ivory-Block, Lily Konigsberg, and Nina Ryser met while attending Bard College and formed Palberta in 2013. My Pal Berta (2013) and Shitheads in the Ditch (2014) were both released by Feeding Tube Records. Bye Bye Berta (2016) was their first album for Wharf Cat Records and it was followed by 2018’s Roach Goin’ Down, both recorded by Paco Cathcart (The Cradle). These albums were surrounded by a slew of EPs and split releases as well as frequent touring of the United States and Canada. Palberta opened for Bikini Kill at Brooklyn Steel in 2019 and were set to tour the U.K. and Europe for the first time in April of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Their fifth album, Palberta5000, was preceded by the stand-alone single “Something in the Way” and will be released on January 22, 2021. When they can safely do so, they look forward to touring the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.