Pallmer’s debut performance at UNDERCURRENT

Portrait of the band Pallmer for their newly released album 'Swimming,' they were part of the Undercurrent event held by the University of New Brunswick. (Submitted: Annie France Noël)

After an improv session during a particularly snowy winter evening in Fredericton, a cellist player and violist got together, and so, Pallmer was born. A mixture of chamber-pop, the band just debuted at UNB Art Centre’s Memorial Hall for UNDERCURRENT, an event series highlighting emerging talents. 

Pallmer kicked off the new music series, on Feb. 22, bringing strings, bass, synthesizers and marimba-like percussion to create lush yet tender songs. 

“Just started by kind of jamming together in a pretty unofficial way and then we realized that we were really enjoying what we were doing,” said Mark Kleyn, viola player of the band.

Four years later, they recorded their album Swimming, which was released in January. For this event, Kleyn and Emily Kennedy, cello player, invited their friend Charlie Hardring to join the band.

Adding to the ensemble’s dynamic sound, Harding skills by being in charge of the electric acoustic tools and integrating synthesizer tone into the music. 

For Kennedy, balancing between two roles may not appear to be a significant challenge, as she began playing the cello and singing at the same time at the age of 10. However, she acknowledges that mastering both tasks required considerable dedication and practice to truly excel.

Kleyn said one of the challenges they faced while rehearsing was to figure out how by mixing electronic music with classical music, the sound could remain in sync. 

“The textures feel whole, so that’s the challenge that takes a lot of sculpting and trial and error to put everything together in a way,” he said.

An extra special show to celebrate Pallmer’s vinyl launch of Swimming.

After a lot of writing, the group made some demo recordings to get the songs, once it was ready they went to Nova Scotia to get the full recording of Swimming.

On Thursday, the show featured an “expanded string section” with special guests Nadia Francavilla, Victor Vivas and Jason Flores.

“It’s definitely gonna be a special show that we wouldn’t normally just be presenting in our day-to-day kind of touring,” said Kennedy.

Harding said this is an opportunity for the audience to get involved in different pop music experiences while listening to diverse orchestration, melodies and instruments.

“It’s like a nice coming home,” said Kennedy while heading to Fredericton after their last performance in Toronto. 

“We played in Memorial Hall quite a bit. It’s gonna be a fun party with lots of friends and family; we’re really excited,” she said.