Ellen Kempner knows how to find the sweet spot between fuzzed out guitar riffs and honest, point-of-fact lyrics. Under the half-whispered rawness of her voice is an intimacy that becomes most clear when her lyrics become concrete (“We went to Dunkin’ Donuts / and you got the blueberry glazed one / and I laughed ’cause you knew it was the worst one of the dozen,” she reminisces).
But this is a song for someone of the past. The “her” in the title refers to a new relationship — one for which we are given no details except Kempner’s insistence that the addressee would love her. It’s that feeling of realizing that the first person you want to call with exciting news is someone who’s no longer in your life; the tragic and sweet moment where you forget that everything has changed. The thud of the bass keeps a solidity to the track while haunting guitar riffs stretch out. “When the dust clears, where’s my body?” Kempner asks in a shift from concrete to figurative. The question floats there.
The video for the track was made by teenagers in the Real to Reel Film School at Raw Art Works. It features stark images with well placed movement that becomes more and more apparent as the video progresses until everything is moving and any peace there was at first is replaced by a sense of messiness. The clip compliments the themes and motions of the song perfectly.
You can find Palehound on their website, Twitter, and Facebook page. Check out the credits for the “If You Met Her” video on Youtube, and find out more about the Real to Reel project at the Raw Art Works website.