Release Date: May 22, 2012
Record label: Secretly Canadian
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic
Interesting idea, calling your band Exitmusic. The music that soundtracks the final moments of a film as the actors disappear from the screen, as the credits roll and the audience take in what they’ve seen, is meant to be poignant; it’s meant to reinforce the feelings aroused by the film’s resolution (or lack thereof). It’s the music of reflection, consolation and/or summation.
ExitmusicPassage[Secretly Canadian; 2012]By Ace Ubas; May 31, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetWhen you're in two different forms of artistic media, there's a chance that one may be more recognizable than the other. In the case of Aleksa Palladino, she's more known for playing Angela Darmody on HBO's Boardwalk Empire than being the vocalist/keyboardist in the Brooklyn-based Exitmusic. But with a debut full-length in Passage, it won't be long before she gains more recognition as a musician than as an actress.
The final scene fades away, the credits slowly glide by and you begin to reenter reality to the only remaining thematic trace of the film that just unfolded: the music. No matter what the movie was actually about, those songs bridge a gap and usher you forth from a world of fiction to one of fact. Once you listen to Exitmusic’s debut, it is not hard to instantly grasp why the husband-and-wife duo of Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino (she herself of Tinseltown fame on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) have claimed this space as their own.
Much of the press Brooklyn duo Exitmusic garnered for its 2011 EP, From Silence, depended as much on the pair's backstory as their tension-dependent sound. The tale of Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church, after all, is more than a good narrative hook; it's a real-life manifestation of the kind of woozy, romantic arch you've either seen in your daydreams, on the silver screen, or in paperbacks filed in the young-adult or classic literature sections. The daughter of a New York opera singer, Palladino met the relatively agrarian Church in the smoking car of a train while backpacking across Canada.
Review Summary: We are sparks of light, but we hide it. In reading the backstory of Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino – the husband and wife pairing at the heart of New York City outfit Exitmusic – one trinket of information quickly stands out: that the couple chose to tie the knot in Southern California, at a scenic outpost overlooking Mulholland Drive. And listening to their work on Passage, the record which they released earlier this year under their label, Secretly Canadian, it’s hard to escape the sense that Church and Palladino’s decision – to make the road the symbolic venue of their personal and professional union – is a fitting one.
United in matrimony and music, Brooklyn-based duo Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino embrace their Radiohead-inspired name in sound and sentiment. Their debut album proper quivers and quakes with the cinematic electronics and emotional abandonment of a soundtrack to Armageddon. But for all its bleak, dark fissures, bright and tender lights serenely burst out with hope.
Exitmusic's full-length debut, Passage, picks up where the duo's From Silence EP left off, delivering more beautifully moody songs full of dark, whispery verses and soaring choruses. While Devon Church's way with atmospheric sounds shines throughout the album -- particularly on "The City"'s torchy guitars and "The Wanting"'s hypnotic pull -- it's Aleksa Palladino's vocals that are Passage's star. Her throaty, vibrato-heavy voice is something of an acquired taste in its louder moments, but this intensity is what brings Exitmusic's songs down to earth.
In October of last year, Exitmuisc’s first release, the EP From Silence, made a respectable splash in the blog-pond. The four tracks were bursting with cathartic energy delivered by Aleksa Palladino’s over-the-top vibrato, and the massive ravines separating chorus from verse; every minute or so, four Gs of acceleration were followed by a plunge into quiet. There was a bit of variety – “The Hours” took things more slowly – but each track retained every gram of soaked-through studio production.
Despite the duo’s name, Exitmusic’s first collection for Secretly Canadian—Passage—doesn’t sound like what you’d hear over the closing credits. Instead, much of it feels like the dramatic climax that precedes it, and the moments that don’t hit that peak are weighted, uncertain denouements. This is music that wants to strike you, but it doesn’t hit with earworm hooks or charging chorus.
The only episode I’ve ever seen of Boardwalk Empire was the pilot back in 2010. Good episode, but I’m bad at committing to TV shows, so I haven’t seen any Boardwalk Empire since then. I don’t remember Aleksa Palladino, who played the wife of Michael Pitt’s character, but IMDB tells me that she did in fact cross the screen in the one episode that I watched.