Despite being around since 2013, I’d never heard of Palmistry before June 24th. Benjy Keating, the man behind Palmistry, kept a fairly low profile, even his 2014 EP, Lil’ Gem, slipped below most radars. It wasn’t until his 2015 single, “Memory Taffeta,” that he garnered more substantial interest, and yet I remained unaware. So when I started PAGAN, purely out of curiosity, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The album is incredibly smooth, comfortably sitting within its glossy superficial sound. I’d almost liken it to a tropical pop (trop-pop?!?) version of Washed Out’s Within and Without (one of my all time favorites) mixed with SOHN’s Tremors. And while the aforementioned records’ depth can’t be matched on PAGAN, it does provide a similar serenity. Depending on who you are, the album’s consistency could either hit the spot or push you away. It doesn’t deviate from it’s simple formula, making all the songs sound fairly similar. Personally, I’ve only found comfort in that approach, letting my ears take a 36 minute break. Benjy's soft and polished vocals are used in a unique fashion, as he often mumbles his way through the track, using his voice more as a complementary sound rather than a means to connect with you through lyrics. I found the lack of articulation a plus, it allowed me to immediately lose myself in the sound, not having to concern myself with deciphering his melodic sing-speak.
All in all, PAGAN is going to be one of my constant companions this summer; it’s light, fun, and the instrumental tracks provide great transitions throughout the record. With everything heavy that’s going on in the world, sometimes it’s nice to just throw on something uncomplicated and let it take you away, and that’s exactly what this does.