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Palberta are a lo-fi noise rock trio whose playful, unpredictable songs, which are often around a minute or two each, recall post-punk groups like LiLiPUT and the Raincoats as well as the no wave scene. After forming while the members were college students near the beginning of the 2010s, Palberta built up a following through their ceaseless touring of underground venues, as well as cassette and vinyl releases on labels like OSR Tapes and Feeding Tube Records. They began to receive wider recognition when Wharf Cat Records released their ambitious full-length Bye Bye Berta in 2017. The band gradually embraced more upfront elements of pop music on subsequent releases, such as 2021′s Palberta5000.
Anina Ivry-Block, Lily Konigsberg, and Nina Ryser began Palberta while attending Bard College during the early 2010s. All three members switch instruments, in addition to providing childlike harmony vocals that often abruptly shift from soft crooning to harsh shrieking, resembling an art-damaged offspring of the Roches. The trio established a fan base through their incessant touring of D.I.Y. venues, and after digitally self-releasing My Pal Berta in 2013, they quickly attracted the attention of OSR Tapes, home to the similarly eccentric Blanche Blanche Blanche. OSR issued My Pal Berta and Shitheads in the Ditch on cassette in 2014, and Feeding Tube Records released both on vinyl, in addition to Special Worship, Palberta’s split EP with (New England) Patriots.
In 2015, Datura Sound released Palberta’s Live on the Spot tape (recorded at the Brooklyn venue Silent Barn), and the Hot on the Beach tape appeared on JMC Aggregate (subsequently issued on vinyl by Feeding Tube). Also, a split cassette with No One and the Somebodies titled Chips for Dinner was released by Underdog Pop Records. In February 2017, the band’s ambitious 20-track LP Bye Bye Berta was issued by Wharf Cat. Palberta were featured as one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know” that month. Later in the year, Wharf Cat issued Chips for Dinner on vinyl. Roach Goin' Down, another sprawling set of unpredictable art-punk, followed in 2018.
The band continued to play shows, opening for the reunited Bikini Kill in 2019, and remained active with several other projects. Konigsberg released solo material and played in the group Eyes of Love and the duo Lily & Horn Horse. Ryser also issued solo albums, and played with Ivry-Block in the band Shimmer. Palberta returned in 2021 with their fifth full-length, Palberta5000, which featured longer and more repetitive songs than their earlier work, while retaining the group’s energy and spontaneity. ~ Paul Simpson