In the last eight months, Palace have ridden a wave of overwhelming critical and fan support. Building on the acclaim garnered with their debut EP Lost In The Night last October, their latest EP Chase The Light was released on 8th June. The Radio 1 support has continued with lead track Kiloran having its world premiere on Annie Mac’s show and receiving subsequent daytime plays, while Huw Stephens premiered forthcoming single Head Above The Water. Support has also come from 6Music’s Steve Lamacq and XFM’s Georgie Rogers, Maz Tappuni and John Kennedy, who premiered Settle Down and with whom they did a session and interview, and also Jo Good, who made Kiloran her Shock of the New.
Where did they come from? To fully understand Palace’s music it’s necessary to know where it’s made. Tucked away down a side street in deepest Tottenham, ‘The Arch’ is a creative nerve centre packed with young artists, designers and musicians where the band (Leo Wyndham: guitar, vocals, Rupert Turner: guitar, Will Dorey: bass, Matt Hodges: drums) rehearse, record, unwind and, if needs be, sleep. If the power cuts out every now and then, that’s just part of the appeal.
“It’s damp and it’s dark, and it’s on a meter – so you never know when the lights will go off,” explains Leo of this grungy outpost of bohemia in London’s over-mortgaged heart. “But the atmosphere of the place seeps into the music.”
But then, Palace are all about atmosphere. Chase The Light is their first release with support from Fiction. Lead single Kiloran might just be their most majestic stadium-sized ballad yet. However, its raw reverb-drenched sound only scratches the surface of Palace’s creative ambitions. Head Above Water is a sensual, sun-streaked love song worthy of Jeff Buckley, while exquisite examinations of warring emotions (‘Settle Down’), the power of love (‘Tomahawk’) and self doubt (‘Chase The Light’) come with a subterranean stillness which suggest you’re in The Arch with them.
Launched with two sold-out debut headline shows at St. Pancras Old Church last October, Palace were then hand-picked to support Jamie T at his London comeback show. In April, Palace joined Ghostpoet on his UK tour, before playing 2 headline shows at The Red Gallery, Shoreditch, the first of which sold out so quickly, they had to add an extra date.
Palace have won over every audience placed in front of them. No mean feat when you consider these have ranged from lairy Jamie T fans to topless jugglers to tearful fans. But then as Matt points out, Palace are made for bringing people together. “We’ve had a few comments about our music being good baby-making music, which is nice. It’s sex music, basically.” Palace: spreading the love.
Palace play at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen on 27 October.
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