Ears Wide Open: The Palms

The Palms (photo by Adam Bice)
The Palms (photo by Adam Bice)

Allstate doesn’t just provide a platform for dudes with deep, soothing voices like Dennis Haysbert — they bring bands together. At least that’s how it happened for Johnny Zambetti and Ben Rothbard, who met on the set of a commercial for the insurance company. The two L.A. natives spun their songwriting talents in the rock ’n’ roll five-piece Terraplane Sun. After living through the classic tale of “indie band signs record deal and things go bad,” Zambetti and Rothbard cut the cord from their label and Terraplane Sun to become The Palms.

The change also lead the duo to ditch their bluesy rock ’n’ licks for a psych/pop sound with more hip-hop and R&B influences. According to the band, their first single “Push Off” was “written as a rallying cry to ourselves to stand up and fight for what we believe in, especially in the face of adversity.” Rothbard’s boyish vocals are reminiscent of Matt Shultz (Cage the Elephant) or an American Jake Bugg. The falsetto caters nicely to the Palms’ laid-back, SoCal vibe. Their latest single, “Don’t Waste My Time” uses hip-hop beats and a catchy pop melody to search for authenticity and realness in an internet age. Ironically, this new direction also has them ditching some of their live instruments for programmed ones. It will be interesting to see where the duo’s new pop direction takes them. Their February residency at the Satellite should be an indication.

||| Stream: “Push Off” and “Don’t Waste My Time”

||| Live: The Palms play The Satellite every Monday in February at The Satellite.