Palm of Granite is the brainchild of Armenian singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, Raffi Semerdjian. In songs like this one, “Heavy on the Land,” it isn’t hard to understand why Semerdjian has earned the reputation of new-age Armenian troubadour.
Even the name of the band, which is a cheeky play off the word Pomegranate – a fruit with ancient symbolic value for Armenians – reflects Semerdjian’s ability to be simultaneously respectful and critical of societal traditions.
In all nations and ethnicities, tradition, he says, guides us “in our mythologies or from stories passed down from previous generations – a kind of code of conduct, pride in our humanity and beliefs – what we believe to be right and how we deal with what is wrong.”
The acoustic vibe of the song itself contrasts a folk-like approach to songwriting – melancholic vocals and a repetitive, “meditative feel” – with expressive electronic techniques. Intentionally or not, Palm of Granite’s sound reflects the aspirations of a restless and creative generation of young Armenians hoping to honor tradition without being bound to it.