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Enter Exitmusic

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Almost as soon as Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church, who perform together as Exitmusic, take the stage at Pianos and begin playing their elegant but ghoulish guitar pop, like a sonic Brontë novel, people in the audience begin making out with one another. There’s something erotically incantatory about the couple, both 30 and ridiculously attractive, who play stock-still onstage as if in a trance. They met when they were 18 aboard a train in Canada. Palladino grew up in New York, the daughter of an opera singer, and has been acting since she was 14 (she’s currently Angela Darmody on Boardwalk Empire). At the time, Church, who grew up in Winnipeg, was just bumming around. “An Australian backpacker gave me his girlfriend’s train pass,” he says. “School was over, and I had a shitty job I didn’t have much allegiance to, so I got on the train as Tammy Hopper from Australia. I had nothing better to do.” Neither did she. Aboard that train, they decided to go together up to the observation car to watch a meteor shower, “but they kept it lit on the inside so all you could see was your own reflection smiling back at you,” says Palladino. Afterward, Church sent her several letters, but she remained aloof. “The whole time, I was trying to get her to invite me to New York,” Church recalls. “She didn’t. So finally I was just like, ‘I’m fucking coming to New York.’ ” Palladino, a beguiling fairy with the raunchy cackle of a sailor, says, “I don’t know how to defend my initial inaction. But ten days after he got here, he moved in.” It’s been nine years; they’re now married. On their forthcoming EP, From Silence, they showcase the insular romanticism that defines their sound and life. “When I was a teenager, if you’d asked me, I would have said I was in a relationship with New York City,” she says. “It was my first real love.” She pauses and looks at Church. “But now I have him.”


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