When we interviewed Palehound’s Ellen Kempner last month, she talked a little bit about “If You Met Her,” a highlight from the Boston band’s forthcoming new album, A Place I’ll Always Go. Here’s what she had to say:
It’s about my friend that passed away. Just about what it’s like to lose a young friend and keep on living your life. Walking by the Dunkin’ Donuts we had a kind of shitty talk in once, looking in through the window… It’s that way where she’s everywhere. And then having this love and this relationship and wishing that I could introduce them. Wishing that I could be like, Oh my god, I’m seeing this great person and I used to talk to you all the time about how I wish I was doing that, and now I am and you’re not here to see it. It’s about being young and getting older and knowing that your friend didn’t have the opportunity to do that.
The track is debuting with a video that was put together by a bunch of high school students, and it shows Kempner adjusting to an absence in empty rooms and aimless car rides. It’s a subdued but powerful video that lets the song speak for itself. Kempner is raw and contemplative on “If You Met Her.” The song is framed as a series of countdowns, emphasizing the time that has passed since her friend’s death, and each number rings like a sharp reminder of what’s being missed. “Starting to count up to two/ Another year of missing you,” Kempner sings before launching into the introspective chorus: “When the dust clears, where’s my body?,” a looming question about what’s left behind after someone else is gone. Watch and listen via Rookie below.