Alternative band Palomino Blond from Miami recently released their debut album ‘ontheinside’. Known for their energetic, shoegaze-inspired pop/rock music, the four-piece band showcase a dreamy, yet somehow, evil sound in their latest seven-track album and it’s nothing like you’ve ever heard before! The almost 27-minute long album explores the bands introspective and emotive side through rock drums, guitars and wailing vocals.
ontheinside Album Tracklist
“My thoughts suspended on the inside/On the inside/Keep it in/And just try to get by/Keep it in/So it dies when you die”.
The album begins with a dreamy, retro rock-inspired, self-titled track called ontheinside . It’s introduced with a simple, distorted guitar loop that’s slightly harsh, yet plays softly over an arpeggio. They sing a somewhat hypnotic tune over ethereal atmospheres as they explore the weight of thoughts and what a powerful thing they can be. As the track progresses it increasingly builds up in intensity, owing to the punchy and powerful drum performance towards the end.
Palomino Blond takes you back to the days of punk rock with their next track Phoebe. Featuring a cool guitar riff, banging drums and a catchy hook line, this is one of those tracks you’ll have a hard time getting out of your head! Right from the start it kicks off with a bang and keeps playing on a high, keeping the listener engaged till the very end.
Magnoliabegins in a space of psychedelia with slightly detuned yet hauntingly beautiful vocals over fuzzy guitars. An energetic drum groove kicks in after a few bars, introducing a powerful chorus section with vocal layers all around. The band experiments a bit with effects and pedals here, further adding different colours to their mix.
The band sticks to their signature sound that’s spacey and very rock and roll. Stone is another fantastic composition that showcases the band’s favourite guitars and reverb-drenched vocals. The blues-inspired guitar riffs fit in with the hopeful and introspective mood of the track.
With the ever-increasing influence of electronic elements in music nowadays, it’s quite rare to find a raw rock and roll track. Palomino Blond is one of the few bands out that is keeping the genre alive, and this next song is a great example! Track five,Lovely, begins with a laid-back vocal melody that’s a tad spooky, though it fits in well with the very ‘happening’ instrumentation. Both the vocalists perform a powerful verse each and complement each other extravagantly in the energetic outro section. A unique and intriguing composition that will keep your ears busy!
Ultraviolet features a vocal performance in their signature style over wailing guitars and big drums. The track has a sort of aggressive feel but has hints of nostalgia at the same time. The melodies are slightly bizarre, not something you’d expect to hear in an alt-rock track like this, making it one of the most unique tracks of the lot so far.
Palomino Blond bids farewell with another dreamy, emotive song called Secrets. “Alright dear you know/What you would like in a show/And she knows you’d prefer/Being alone with her/No harm done/Letting secrets go” – There is no doubt that this band has a knack for writing. Their skilful vocal delivery style and the way they tell a story is very captivating. What makes it even better, on this particular track, is the loud instrumentation that just grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. The band ends the album on a very high note with grungy and noisy guitars; a fantastic outro to this seven-track masterpiece!
In conversation with Carli Acosta
It was a pleasure having the opportunity to talk to Palomino Blond’s vocalist/guitar, Carli Acosta about the album, and here’s what she had to say!
Q1 – The ‘ontheinside’ EP features a tasteful blend of shoegaze, alternative rock and punk-pop. What inspired you to write this album and what would you like listeners to take away from it?
The writing on “ontheinside” goes back all the way to 2017, with the oldest track being Phoebe. We were definitely inspired by each other’s energy and the ability to bounce ideas off each other. We love high impact, weird, heavy guitar sounds in rock music just as much as we love pop hooks so that’s what brought us to the point of writing this album together. I think in terms of what I’d like for people to take away from it, I just hope it sounds good in your headphones or sound system and you can bang your head to it haha!! I want everyone to attribute their own meanings to the songs because that’s what I typically do with the music I listen to.
Q2 – Magnolia and Phoebe have energetic guitars and upbeat rhythms that make them one of the most appealing tracks on the album. What is your songwriting/composition process when it comes to writing music like this?
Those songs are definitely the bangers on the album!! Phoebe was written by Kyle (guitar/vocals). He also sings and came up with that insane, noisey harmonic riff in the intro. We both love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and he told me he wrote that song after watching an episode of the Buffy spinoff called Angel. Kyle loves sugary pop melodies as well as fuzzed out guitar and it definitely shows on that song. He mentioned he wanted to cram in as many hooks as he could for that song. Magnolia was a group effort. I had the verse chord progression but a really boring backing rhythm, luckily Michael (drums) and Peter (bass) were able to fix that for me and created a super intricate drum and bass section for that song at rehearsal. Peter then helped me out coming up with the chorus chord progression, he’s got a knack for that. From there, it was a matter of Kyle shredding devastating leads like he always does, and myself singing different melodies until a certain melody would stick and finding a way, lyrically, for them to communicate the themes I wanted them to, which are: longing, fantasizing, but convincing yourself on coming back to earth and being realistic—being strong enough to move on from something sad. We definitely were very purposeful with the way that song blooms and twists and fights itself throughout, with the way the drums cut in and out for the high notes and such.
Q3 – It’s great how the tracks here have a 2000s pop/rock sound with Palomino Blond’s modern touch, making the music unique and engaging. Which bands/artists have influenced your style of playing and performing?
Thank you, yeah that era is very foundational for us since we grew up during that time, where there was pop music that had a lot of guitar in it. From day 1, Kyle and I bonded over our love of The Smashing Pumpkins, Sleater-Kinney, Portishead, Veruca Salt, Alanis Morrissette, No Doubt, Cocteau Twins, Boris, stuff like that. Its hard to tack down influences for this album because I, myself, shied away from listening to much music at the time so I could focus on writing our stuff, but I can say we have a mutual love of punk-pop, shoegaze, dreampop, and doom sounds that bring us together to create our own sounds.
Q4 – If Palomino Blond has the chance to perform the album live with any artist in the world, who would it be and why?
If we could play live with anyone…I would love to play or tour with Yves Tumor. I think they are one of the most compelling artists on the road right now and our sound could possibly speak to their audience too. I’m a big fan right now and wish I could’ve seen more of their set at III Points, which was a festival we played together in Miami October of 2021.
Q5 – Having performed a bunch of live shows since 2018, the lockdown period must’ve been a frustrating experience for the band. How did you continue working and making music during that time?
5Lockdown was nothing short of frustrating at first but the free time (between doing postmates and instacart to keep our bank accounts from going negative at the studio) was great for songwriting. We basically wrote nonstop during the summertime in 2020 and swapped demos through email. Then we got together in person and workshopped the songs we wanted to record for the album. We got in the new studio with one of our favorite engineers Jonathan Nuñez as he had just finished building out a new studio space in a warehouse with these incredibly high ceilings and locked in a handful of 10-hour days with him for a couple months. We still have a lot of stuff in the vault from our sessions with Jonathan, which started in 2018 before we even had the idea for “ontheinside” as an album. We’re excited to continue working on a few of those for the basis of our next release.