The first minute of ‘Alive’ by Los Angeles rock band Palms Station is notable for its sound – soaring wordless vocals power over thunderous beats and strident piano chords. Evocative of a choral piece, the song feels somewhat spiritual and solemn, yet joyous, electrifying and reflective. The volume drops to a whisper, and the ethereal vocals of Torii Wolf take over. She’s completely in control.
It’s not Wolf’s first rodeo with Palms Station; she also provided the beautiful vocals on their single, ‘Blue Skies Back’. With ‘Alive’ however she ups the ante, and the intensity of the piece is incredible, hopeful, dramatic, exhilarating.
The hymnlike quality of ‘Alive’ is no accident. Hillel Tigay, the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter of Palms Station, also serves as a cantor and musical director at IKAR, one of the largest and most influential progressive synagogues in Southern California. IKAR is known for being at the forefront of cutting-edge progressive spiritual synagogue life, but it’s so much more than that, being the chosen synagogue for the likes of Steven Spielberg, Marta Kauffman, Emmy Rossum, Seth Rogen, Anne Hathaway and Nick Kroll, among others.
Hillel is a Hazzan: a learned temple official schooled in devotional music, and his activities at the temple have seen him featured in Variety, who described him as an immense musical talent, and a man whose understanding of the liberatory spiritual power of sound speaks in everything he does. His work with Palms Station brings with it the same quality as his music at IKAR – emotionally charged, courageous music, that brings people together while speaking directly to the soul.
If the video for ‘Alive’ reminds you of Sinead O’Connor’s performance of ‘Nothing Compares 2U’, then there’s a reason for that. It was absolutely intentional, but rather than the heart wrenching sadness of O’Connor, Torii Wolf evokes joy, peace, and harmony.
Watch the compelling music video for ‘Alive’ here, and find out more about Palms Station and their music online on Twitter, and Instagram.