It’s a well-known if infrequently discussed phenomenon: From a young age, girls are taught to shave, tone, tighten, cover up, accessorize, tweeze, squeeze and otherwise contort their way to acceptance. That’s one subject of Palehound’s message to listeners that’s particularly transparent in recent single “Healthier Folk.” In the song’s music video, guitarist and singer Ellen Kempner expresses her displeasure with these societal pressures, pairing an exasperated tone with imagery that portrays imposed hygiene routines in unflattering ways. The Boston-based musician says she began writing songs in elementary school as a way to impress people between social struggles. She calls her 2015 album Dry Food “a snapshot of a weird time for me, where I was transitioning” and cites Asheville singer-songwriter Angel Olsen as an influence. Opening for Nashville rockers Bully, Palehound plays The Mothlight Sunday, Jan. 24, at 9:30 p.m. $10/$12. themothlight.com. Photo by Chad Kamenshine
Thanks for reading through to the end…
We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.
We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.
Before you comment
The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.