It’s here. After releasing Lost in the Night (2014), London alt-blues outfit Palace strolled onto the radar with five elegiac tracks effortlessly balancing soaring guitar harmonies and sophisticated diminuendo. In 2015 another 5 track EP came — Chase The Light — built on the momentum of Lost in the Night and left fans wanting more.
Two years after the release of the first EP, Palace has released their debut LP So Long Forever (2016). And boy was it worth the wait. Boasting 11 tracks, including a space-y take on old classic “Bitter” off Lost in the Night, the new record proves Palace has been busy.
The opening track, “Break The Silence”, was the first of four singles released off So Long Forever in the six months before its premiere. It creates an atmosphere of urgency, sweeping the listener off their toes then setting them back down gently as the tempo slows and the last notes fade to feedback. Palace assumes the role of the airplane pilot, navigating us through flight and grounding.
The intricate and controlled arrangements continue on an impressive B side.
“So Long Forever”, the title track, is a quasi-frenzied anthem packing a reverb doused punch with feverish riffs. From there you are launched into “Blackheath” which has been a part of Palace’s repertoire for the past two years but never officially released. The acoustic version of “Blackheath” I was familiar with graduated on the album to a masterpiece, culminating in an explosively soulful apex of sound.
There’s something to be said of artists who value their art enough to allow it due time to develop. Although this album could not have come soon enough, it’s refreshing to see a band in no rush to dive head first into the industry. Palace is smelling the roses, and I hope an American tour is on the agenda.
Written by Ally Mason