Exitmusic – Passage album review

The Brooklyn based duo Exitmusic have a knack for capturing the mood of a pivotal moment. The duo is made up of Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino. Palladino is also an actress most recently noted for her role on HBO’s critically acclaimed series: Boardwalk Empire. But music came before acting for her ever since her teens. Growing up, she was encouraged by her mother, a then professional opera singer, to pursue her passion for songwriting. Palladino met her counterpart, Church, shortly after he moved to New York after teaching English in India. The two collaborated with their individual strengths to form a band, touring with Phantogram for a year in 2009 up until they returned to NYC to record an album of their own.

Their full-length release, ‘Passage’, is a melancholy and ethereal take on modern day pop. It is seemingly a perfect fit for that classic climactic scene in a thrilling film noir. Aesthetically, there may not be much to dissect while listening to the album, but it plays like a well crafted soundtrack. It is not neatly tied together with distinctive shifts that give it cohesion. That is what brings beauty to the tracks: that it is haphazardly thrown together with loose threads and dead ends… yet done prophetically and with all the emotional upheaval that breaks your heart and tightens your throat.

Arpeggio’s and pitchy vocals shiver through out, as if the singer was on a balance beam during the recording. But the beats building up to the climactic bridge lead the listener into a cathartic release of pent up anticipation. With only one album under their belt so far, Exitmusic has made quite the entrance; with melodies flourishing to a rouse and accompanied by the occasional sun-drenched ballad, their sound is heartbreaking. The music is enough to make you swoon and soon revel in the fill of nostalgic bliss it bellies upon you. Exitmusic’s “Passage” was released on Secretly Canadian Records and is available online or in stores all over the world.