You hear stories about traveling musicians. They hit the road with nothing but their instrument and a burning passion for the music they make. In recent memory, none have embodied this image better than Shane Palko, who drove over 10,000 miles from Pennsylvania to Panama while on tour with his band. The singer/songwriter with a voice of silk has performed on five out of the seven continents. His soft and sweet melodies are entrancing, almost like a lullaby at times. It is so incredibly easy to get lost in the music.
His newest album, “Pick Me Up,” starts strong with, “Traveling/Wandering,” a reflective track that is both inspiring and reassuring. In the song, Palko sings about his travels and being content with who he is as a person, and wishes you, the listener, nothing but the best.
They say art imitates life, and that’s evident in Palko’s music. He forged his signature optimistic sound as he found himself throughout his travels. With the world in a period of such extreme division in all aspects of life, Shane realized he just wanted to make people happy.
Another standout song featured in the collection is, “Starship.” It’s all about watching the world go by and being happy with who you are as a person. It’s the kind of jam you could imagine yourself listening to while sitting underneath a tree on a calm fall day, watching the leaves fall and absorbing the world around you.
Palko excels at creating an atmosphere in his music. If you close your eyes while listening to each one of the songs you can almost picture yourself in these serene settings, maybe with a loved one or an old friend. The song that exemplifies this better than any other on the album is, “For Juniper.” It’s two minutes and thirty-five seconds of a beautiful melody. There are no lyrics to come between you and the music. You can listen and absorb the emotion.
Palko’s verses are always simple, never using elaborate metaphor or forcing the listener to think too hard to grasp the full scope of his music. But that’s what makes it so unique. There’s beauty in the simplicity. It’s like watching great sitcoms. They’re easy to take in, but they can convey some of the most intriguing and captivating stories in all of television. All while making you smile, and making your day just a little bit better.
“I have no goals, just gratitude. I could hang up my tour hat today and be happy because I have had one hell of a journey already.” Said Palko. It’s this, “Take each day as they come and live your life to the fullest,” mentality that personifies his music that makes it such a pleasure to experience. After seeing the world and all it has to offer, Palko is wise beyond his years, and that shows in his music. Being genuinely content with yourself is a hefty task for anyone, no matter their circumstance. But for the half hour or so that you’ll spend listening to “Pick Me Up,” the world won’t seem like such a scary place.