Sublime and intoxicatingly relaxing, Palace’s debut LP So Long Forever will melt your heart with its shimmering reverb and celestial ambience.
The 11-track LP is hypnotically laid-back, as the sonic light and shadows of Will Dorey’s bass and the shimmer of Rupert Turner’s never-stagnant guitar lull you into a relaxed state of melancholy. Opening track ‘Break The Silence’ sounds like a heavenly Ben Howard / Foals collaboration, and flows fluently into the new version of ‘Bitter’, from Palace’s 2014 EP, Lost in The Night. Rerecorded with a deeper and murkier sound, the track is a testament to how the London four-piece have subtly evolved since their 2014 debut.
As the band explain, the album is “our distinctive blues sound mixed with atmosphere and epic reverb. One of the things the album deals with is loss and how we deal with those difficult situations.”
This is certainly true for darker tracks ‘It’s Over’ and ‘Family’, which delicately plumb the depths of your emotions. Despite the sombre narrative of the lyrics, the iridescence of the guitar and the raw melodies of Leo Wyndham’s vocals are strangely uplifting. The dusky sound of ‘Family’ carries you on waves of heavenly guitar hooks and drowns you in ambience, whilst the impassioned refrain of ‘It’s Over’ splashes you with tough-love as the track builds into Wyndham’s falsetto climax.
This LP is the perfect soundtrack for a reflective bottle of red in a candlelit room, with Palace’s beautifully poignant sound crackling over vinyl. During my first listen to the album, So Long Forever effortlessly floated its way into my favourite five albums of 2016.
Palace’s album debut is the perfect accompaniment for the imminent wintery evenings, and will work as well as a blanket for the broken-hearted.
(Images: Fiction Records)