Exitmusic Premieres Gorgeous Indie Rock Epic 'Iowa': Listen

Philistine DSGN


The duo’s third album, ‘The Recognitions,’ is due April 20.

Exitmusic has existed since the mid-2000s as the creative partnership of real-life couple Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church. Early press for the New York band mentioned their wondrous first encounter, meeting on a train while backpacking across Canada, trying to watch a meteor shower. They married in 2003 and crafted a pair of sweeping albums together -- 2007’s The Decline of the West and 2012’s Passage -- though their third album (and first in six years), The Recognitions, comes from an entirely different headspace.

"Our relationship finally cracked when Aleksa took a break from recording to work on a film in Iowa," Church says. Palladino, Exitmusic’s vocalist, is also an accomplished actress, with work ranging from prestige HBO dramas to acclaimed art house films. This particular project led to a profound turning point in her life, and ultimately, the band. 

“[The film] takes place on a lake so deep, indigenous people believed it had no bottom, and was a portal to the spirit world,” Church says. “When Aleksa returned from shooting, I could tell immediately something major had shifted. She described an experience of standing up in a boat on the lake and seeing her reflection in the water, and having the realization that we had only been living on the surface of life -- that there were fathomless depths to be explored if we were able to set each other free."    

Despite the ending of their marriage, Palladino and Church came together for a new Exitmusic record, and that realization on the lake manifests itself in “Iowa,” a sweeping, string-laced epic that cuts to the core of The Recognitions. Sings Palladino as the chorus waltzes to its apex: “And the sun shines on our death, Iowa.”

Take a listen to “Iowa” below, premiering today (March 21) via Billboard. It’s the second track they’ve shared off the new LP, following “I’ll Never Know.” The Recognitions, Exitmusic’s album first with new label home felte, is available for pre-order here. Palladino is currently filming a role alongside Robert De Niro on Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, while Church is at work on a solo record.