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by Stu Pender

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The early-flowering stage of our new year blooms “Palms,” the second single release from American guitarist and composer Stu Pender and his reveric forthcoming full-length Stillness in Motion. Whereas much of Pender's work sonically navigates through guitar-driven instrumental ethers, “Palms' ' compositionally pairs introspective piano with tender-toned vocals, an artistic decision not yet explored by Pender. The result is intimate, haunting, and alluring - a meditative ballad perfectly suited for deep introspection.

“Palms,” alongside the rest of Stillness in Motion, was conceived in the liminal spaces of Pender’s busy day to day. During waking hours, Pender apprenticed in a piano repair shop; his work was flanked by teaching guitar lessons, performing with Brooklyn Rap septet Poetic Thrust, and rehearsing for an upcoming tour with NY based drummer and producer Photay in the margins of his schedule. Pender found himself exploring concepts of time, purpose, and pace during the quiet hours of his week, shrouded in thought and accompanied by the instruments in his shop.

“‘Palms’ is the only track on the record with piano…this was recorded after hours one evening during the Winter of 2019. It’s written as a reminder to myself to let time be the guide, to let things happen on their own time, and to be happy with what we have.”

Shortly after devising demo recordings of “Palms,” solitary moments in the early months of lockdown reinforced Pender’s piano shop contemplation of having control over the events around you. Focused revisions and mixes of the song bolstered its feeling of intimacy, adding spaghettified guitar accompaniment and ghostly background vocals to the soft, romantic primary solo piano and vocal arrangements. The execution and creative process for “Palms” presents a new and exciting direction for Pender’s work, although the result of his experiments with voice and keys remain congruent with the distinct closeness of the rest of his catalog.

Pender is a student of the legendary ECM pioneer John Abercrombie and has made a career as a New York-based performer and studio musician. Aside from regular collaborations with Photay, Elijah Wolf, Allison Ponthier, and Topaz Jones, Pender is the guitarist for the Brooklyn Rap septet Poetic Thrust (alongside fellow Youngbloods labelmate Yoh) and has performed at a number of world-class venues including the United Nations Assembly Hall, Beacon Theatre, and MoMA PS1.


released January 13, 2022
Written, produced, and performed by Stu Pender
Mixed by Stu Pender
Mastered by Steve Kitch at Audiomaster in London

Artwork and design by Stu Pender and Nicholas Concklin
Executive Produced by Nicholas Concklin & John Moses

Published by Mushpost LLC (ASCAP)
P&C 2022 Youngbloods


all rights reserved



Stu Pender Brooklyn, New York

Guitarist & music maker.

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