Song of the Day, September 30: A Letter Back by the Golden Palominos

GPalHerdLetterToday’s song is A Letter Back from the Golden Palominos fourth album, A Dead Horse. The band is an ongoing project of drummer Anton Fier, a Cleveland rocker who has worked with numerous legendary bands including the Feelies, Pere Ubu, and the Voidoids. The Palominos started as an art-noise project, then morphed into an assemblage of guest stars model. The only constants have been Fier, bassist Bill Laswell and guitarist Nicky Skopelitis. Singer Syd Straw got her start with the band, eventually going solo; former Information Society vocalist Amanda Kramer stepped in. Guests have included Richard Thompson, Peter Blegvad, Michael Stipe, T Bone Burnett, Matthew Sweet, Don Dixon, Jack Bruce, and dozens more.

By A Dead Horse — Kramer’s first appearance with the band — things had settled down a bit. This disc set the tone for future work with a fluid but less chaotic lineup and clear musical themes on each album. The highlight of the album — and one of the Palominos best moments — is A Letter Back. Written and sung by Robert Kidney, it’s a slowly building tale of distance and nostalgia. The regular band are a solid unit by this point, providing a surging backdrop for Kidney’s narration. The result is a surprisingly straightforward ballad from a group known for its experimentation, with the rough edges replaced by expertise.

Enjoy this lovely song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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