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A young woman playing guitar
Kempner performing on January 16, 2016.
Background information
Years active2013–present
  • Ellen Kempner - guitar and vocals
  • Jesse Weiss - drums
  • Larz Brogan - bass
Past members
  • David Khoshtinat - bass

Palehound is an American band fronted by Ellen Kempner who have released three albums, Dry Food (2015)[1], A Place I'll Always Go (2017)[2] and Black Friday (2019), the Bent Nail EP (2013) and a number of 7" singles.[3] Initially a solo project, the band currently features Kempner on vocals/guitar, Jesse Weiss on drums and Larz Brogan on bass.[4][5] In 2015 the band received the Boston Music Award as new artist of the year.[6]


Ellen Kempner (born June 10, 1994),[7] is the daughter of Janet and Jim Kempner, a realtor and singer-songwriter.[8] Together with a younger sister, she grew up in Westport, Connecticut,[5] where she attended the Staples High School.[9] She developed an interest in playing music at an early age and had guitar lessons from her father. In high school she formed the band Cheerleader together with the drummer Max Kupperberg.[10] In 2012 she moved to New York City, where she attended Sarah Lawrence College and studied music.[11] There she recorded the six track EP Bent Nail with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader of Ava Luna. Her debut as Palehound was through the digital release of the song "Pet Carrot" in August 2013.[12] The EP received a physical release through Exploding in Sound Records in October 2013.[13] She later described it as “when I first recorded [it], I was a little scared to put all the cards on the table".[14] What initially had been a "bedroom recording project" was transferred to the live-stage.[15] In 2013 Kempner performed at CMJ described as "unflinching, whimsical lyrics with pleasantly off-kilter guitar work".[16] She dropped out of college and moved to Boston.[15] In February 2014, the single "Kitchen" was released.[17]

In August 2015 Palehound released the album Dry Food produced by Gabe Wax in the US,[18] while Heavenly Records followed in March 2016.[19] In the same month the band embarked on a UK/European tour in support of the album.[20] Kempner worked with Real to Reel Filmschool in Boston on a video for the song "Cushioned Caging" that appeared in June 2016.[21] On March 6, 2017, Ellen announced that Palehound had signed over to Polyvinyl Records.[22] Their latest album A Place I'll Always Go was released on June 16, 2017.



  • Dry Food (2015)
  • A Place I'll Always Go (2017)
  • Black Friday (2019)


  • Bent Nail (2013)


  • "Kitchen" (2014)
  • "Molly" (2016)


  1. ^ "Palehound: Dry Food". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  2. ^ "Palehound's New Album Casts a Powerful Spell". Mother Jones. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Palehound". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  4. ^ Milstein, Alex (June 1, 2015). "Interview with Palehound". Bearded Gentlemen Music. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  5. ^ a b "She Shreds Magazine - For the Love of Music, Palehound's Ellen Kempner Owns Her Way Through Any Struggle". She Shreds Magazine. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  6. ^ "Speedy Ortiz cleans up at the Boston Music Awards - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  7. ^ "ellen kempner on Twitter (DOB on US border check card)". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  8. ^ "Local Singer and Guitarist Featured at Arts Center". January 11, 2006. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  9. ^ "Staples 2012 Grad Issues First Full-Length Album - - Westport, Connecticut". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  10. ^ "Q&A: Ellen Kempner Of Palehound". CMJ. November 15, 2013. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  11. ^ "Stream Palehound Dry Food". Stereogum. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  12. ^ "Listen: Palehound – Pet Carrot". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  13. ^ "Palehound - Bent Nail EP". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  14. ^ "Allston-based Ellen Kempner puts her all into fast-rising Palehound - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  15. ^ a b "Palehound laughs at the past". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  16. ^ "The Best of CMJ 2013: 10 Bands to Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  17. ^ "Palehound - Kitchen". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  18. ^ "Palehound - Dry Food". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  19. ^ "Palehound - Dry Food". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  20. ^ "Palehound announce UK/EU tour dates". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  21. ^ Hunt, El (June 9, 2016). "Palehound bring the destruction in 'Cushioned Caging' video". DIY. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  22. ^ "Palehound Signs With Polyvinyl, Announces 2017 Album and Tour". Retrieved 7 June 2019.

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