Pale have just released their sophomore single “Litany”, following on their previous single “Absence”. Produced by Lewis Johns, “Litany” will captivate you slowly but surely. Now, this song is one of those that you need to listen to with headphones and with a decent volume to fully appreciate – so go ahead and do that before you read this review.
“Litany” is a grower. You know, the kind of song that you like just ok at the beginning but end up loving by the third listen. Or maybe that’s just me. The first time I listened to it, I kept waiting for the beat to drop, the voice to break, the rawness to come through. And it does come, but just at the very end of the song. Before that, all I got was a beautiful melody and sorrowful voice – a real-life, if stunning, litany (a tedious recital or repetitive series).
And maybe because I kept waiting during this first listen, I didn’t fully stop to pay attention to the words in this song. Which for me, that’s what really makes it shine. Never have the lyrics in a song blended so well with the overall feel of the tune than with “Litany”. That sense of melancholy that filters to your bones with the soft guitars and muted drums is fully translated in the lyrics: Dear misery you’re watching me / Haunting me for eternity” and “Dear litany you’re killing me / My sanity forever bleeds / Is it too much to ask to feel love? / Turn the page and you will see” for example.
With explanation to the meaning behind “Litany”, the vocalist of Pale Reece Banks states, “Litany is an endless endeavour, the feeling as though reality is a rerun of the same morose events. It is the darkest places of the mind tearing apart at the remainder of sanity until it takes full control. I feel you either break the sequence which seems impossible, or you learn to love it, which is the part I feared the most. I really want people to see this track as the thing that helps them break the sequence”.
This song leads you deep into the mind of the band, into their heartbreak and a mindset that is trying to break free from the vicious circle. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. There always is.
If you haven’t done so yet, go and watch the video too, directed by Clearway Media.
Pale are the one band to watch in 2022. We told you here first.
( Maria La Chica )
FFO: Holding Absence, Casey, Loathe