Sydney Eloise and the Palms certainly didn’t rush things when it came to their forthcoming debut, Faces. The Atlanta-based band built the album piece by piece, heading into co-producer Damon Moon’s studio, the Cottage, with outlines of songs and adding instrumentals and tweaking things until they sounded right. They didn’t even start out looking to record an album, but as the collection of work began to take shape, songs that Eloise had been writing over a four-year period began to feel cohesive, and Faces was born.
The latest track revealed by Eloise and the Palms is “Loneliest Boy in NY,” one of the more complex songs on the record. The number is a response to the Simon & Garfunkel classic “The Only Living Boy in New York,” which Moon had included on a mix for Eloise in the midst of an inspirational dry spell.
“Something happened. I remembered why I played music, and the beauty of writing songs, and I cried a little bit,” Eloise says of hearing the song. “As soon as I was done listening, I picked up my guitar and wrote ‘The Loneliest Boy in New York’ in fifteen minutes.”
The song itself plays around with the idea of dual identity and masking oneself as Eloise talks about being “caught in between/The best and worst me,” vacillating between self-doubt and wondering whether anyone is around to notice your shortcomings in the first place.
“I wear a disguise ’cause it makes me feel good,” she croons, and the track’s tape echo and Leslie swirl effects lend a musical symmetry to the lyrics’ tangled feelings.
Listen to “Loneliest Boy in NY” in the player below. Faces is set for release on September 24 via the Cottage Recording Co.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 16, 2015