Palehound shared a new rockabilly-infused single “How Long” via Polyvinyl. The song follows her 2019 album Black Friday, and two 2020 tracks—her cover of Elliott Smith’s “Southern Belle” and a one-off single titled “See a Light.”
Her new, whimsical acoustic track takes the listener through what seems, at first, to be a recounting of a peaceful summer day. Upon closer inspection, it voices the exhaustion of spending endless days within a global pandemic, as singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner closes the song by asking, “How long ‘til a sweetness melts / How long ‘til there rings a bell / That signals us / Return from hell?”
Kempner said of her inspiration for the song:
This is a true story about a day I had back in July, where a few friends came to meet us at a swimming hole. At first it was a blissful day which then took a sharp turn when a bunch of biblical omens came suddenly from nowhere, water snakes, dark storm clouds, hail. It felt very familiar, and seemed to mock us.
Listen to “How Long,” and revisit Palehound’s 2015 session with Paste below.