Singer-songwriter Andrew Robert Palmer describes himself as “a regular guy doing a very small thing,” but you’ll realize that’s an understatement when you’re laughing at the cryptic, Dylanesque rhymes in “Revelation At Walt’s Grocery Store.” Sure, a lot of his material is just him on acoustic guitar, but Palmer’s approach works, whether he’s proclaiming south suburban pride or paying homage to Cat Stevens.
Earlier this month Chicago folk rocker Andrew Robert Palmer dropped a self titled EP that is worth a listen or two. His compelling vocals and storytelling chops are on full display with highlights “...To the Lake!” and “Northside Blues Confusion” bringing out the Chicago centric themes that are charming examples of embracing your environment and writing what you know.
A sense of humor is often missing from folk and punk rock; and when it crops up, as in Andrew Robert Palmer’s newest collection Parlour Punk, it can be a breeze of fresh sounds to get you through the long Chicago winter. A local DIY stalwart who has been self releasing an extensive collection of work since 2015’s Ghosts and Bees (A Retrospective), with a dozen albums and EP’s under his belt in a mear five years A.R.P.’s prolific output is clearly impressive. With Parlour Punk he explores life's changes as he goes through that most grown up step, buying a house. A fully acoustic punk album is not a new concept but A.R.P. approaches it in his classic do it yourself mode by performing the entire record himself (except for some cello parts), in his newly purchased home. With tunes like “Chasing Time” and “Worried Dad Rock” he explores family life in the face of a “scary world.” A theme that runs throughout the record, but comes to a hopeful conclusion in closer “We Still Sing,” as he faces our societal woes with a message of perseverance, his guitar, and a pen.
"One of the scenes most prolific solo artists, Andrew Robert Palmer captures the immediacy of music with every tune. “Midwest Classic” was written about his wife’s feminist protests at her women’s college in Virginia. As ARP says, “I’m a regular guy doing a very small thing,” but it’s much bigger than Andrew would ever let on."
One of the most prolific of Chicago’s singer/songwriters, A.R.P. gives us a three song EP that has plenty of his honest lyrics and infectious energy. The title track will be rattling around in our heads for many moons to come.
ARP! featured on WGN News Channel 9 Chicago (2021)