Written by: Kaitlin Burkhart
With their newest album, So Long Forever, Palace has attracted people from all over the world with their mellow and relaxing sound. I originally discovered them through their song “Live Well,” that captivated me from the start with its simple message of moving on after a hardship in life, not to mention its grasping tune. Not long after did I check out the rest of their album, causing my Spotify playlists to be overwhelmed by the new songs I was adding all at once. Palace’s success has only accelerated with the creation of So Long Forever, an easy-going album with eleven songs full of hypnotizing guitar layers and soft vocals that keep you listening.
It’s not new for an alternative band to talk of love and heartbreak, but Palace does this in a completely unique and personalized way. With songs like “Bitter” where they explore the concept of unrequited love through metaphors of guitar strings and air strikes, you see a rhythmically compelling song on the surface. However, once you delve deeper into the realities being portrayed in the lyrics, you receive a completely different listening experience. Many more of their songs discuss love and all that comes with, all in their own way. Another of my favorites, “Break the Silence,” talks of the tension and yearning for someone at the start of a relationship, which you almost don’t catch under the steady kick drum in the background and groovy guitar.
This isn’t the only topic discussed on the track list, though. Songs like “Family” is about exactly what you would infer from the title, the way family influences you. The lead singer describes how each of his family members are responsible for who he is, without it coming off as cliché. It’s one of the happier songs off the album and radiates love and joy with every lyric. “Holy Smoke,” discusses the concept of death, and how you must release a soul after someone has passed. Overall, it encompasses that feeling right after someone has passed away and you feel their soul leave their body. Although you would expect it to have a deep and depressing melody, I was surprised to hear an almost accepting and optimistic tone, not only through the upbeat guitar but also through lyrics like, “you’ll be just fine” and “be well, my friend.”
Overall, Palace falls right in the middle in terms of style, not too aggressive but also not too soft. Their album is something perfect to listen to whether you want something to get up and dance to, or just serve as background noise to a task you are trying to complete. Every song contains something you can connect with or relate to, even if it takes you a few listens to truly understand the song’s meaning. If you enjoy alternative music to any degree, I highly recommend listening to Palace.