Indie-rock songwriters Melina Duterte and Ellen Kempner, best-known as Jay Som and Palehound, respectively, are teaming up to form Bachelor. The duo’s new project “is not a band, it is a friendship,” a press release stresses, but either way, fans of these artists have something to get excited about: Their debut single “Anything at All,” out now via Polyvinyl Record Co., will be followed by “more Bachelor news coming soon in 2021,” that same presser promises.
“We’re so excited to finally share this song with y’all and announce our new band!” Bachelor say in a statement. “We’ve been dear friends and huge fans of each other for years and were lucky enough to get to work together in January 2020 before quarantine. We feel that ‘Anything At All’ is an even blend of our tastes and writing styles and to release it feels very hopeful and joyous to us.”
Recorded in California (Duterte is based in L.A.) during what was, at the time, a rare stretch off the road for the duo, “Anything at All” opens with a hefty bassline and subdued drums. Duterte and Kempner split vocal duties on “verses of queerness, lust and longing,” debating whether to speak to someone who’s a source of both attraction and anxiety: “She’s forever approachin’ / I’m forever in dread / Wrap me in silk and bite off my head.” The piano-accented singalong choruses give way to a spiky guitar interlude and, later, an overwhelming noise-rock breakdown, as if all that inner turmoil is exploding outward through Bachelor’s amplifiers.
That’s all for now from Bachelor, but we’ll be keeping our ears out for more. In the meantime, Palehound has announced a streaming performance set for March 31, the one-year anniversary of the band’s canceled U.S. tour in support of their 2019 album Black Friday. The show starts at 9 p.m. ET via Bandcamp Live—tickets are here.
Listen to Bachelor’s “Anything at All” below and revisit Palehound’s 2015 Paste Studio session further down.