For a band who only recently discovered the existence and necessity of a pre-gig ‘sound check’, to release an album as captivatingly beautiful as So Long Forever, the debut record from UK outfit Palace, is something truly special. A band who continually place organic creativity at the forefront of their music, Palace are currently dominating the live music scene in the UK and have since set their sights on our little corner of the world. But who are the faces behind this incredible band? Frontman Leo Wyndham fills in the gaps, musing on creativity, playing live and the excitement of touring.
Released on the 4th of November So Long Forever is a powerfully personal record, placing lyrical creativity once again at the forefront of music. Driven by this element of creativity, Leo expands upon the projected drive behind making music.
“I think it gives you an amazing creative output. It gives you something that you can pour all of your feelings and your problems and everything into and that’s what I very much get out of it. It’s incredibly therapeutic.”
The record has indeed been a long time coming, with the band slowly collecting and collating ideas and in the process becoming truly attached to the album. “It’s probably been about two years really, we’ve been working really hard on the tracks but it almost feels like we’ve really been living with these songs for such a long time”.
Being their first full-length release, the wait and anticipation, combined with the incredibly personal nature of the record weighed heavily on the band. “It’s almost been agonising waiting so long for this album, and now that it’s finally out, it’s actually so mad but at the same time also incredibly scary and quite frightening to see the fruits of your labour come together. To be able to physically hold the record and see the results of our creative output, it’s almost like giving birth in a way”. Laughing Leo elaborates, “(So Long Forever) is the Palace baby… The record is a little bundle of feelings and emotions from the last couple of years”.
The price of an honest and open record can at times spill to the surface with Leo reflecting upon the personal nature of the content. “The songs are really personal to me, it really does feel, in a nice way, like you’re shedding your skin of that problem or that particular conflict by putting words onto paper and when playing live, emotions are always quite heightened”.
But this sort of truly unfiltered live performance, really only adds to the reason why fans are drawn to this particular element of subject matter, continually looking to connect through music and So Long Forever is an album that’s real and untainted by the mould of perceived perfection. Despite their recent string of incredible gigs, including gracing the stage of Glastonbury and playing a heap of sold out shows across the UK and Europe, the live aspect of their set is something very new to the band, with Leo reminiscing about just how green the band really were.
“Most of us, particularly (drummer) Matt and I, had never been in a proper band before and at our first sound check, I didn’t even know what sound check was, I just thought you kind of… turned up to play. I really had no idea. We were totally feeling our way”. Whatever their method through madness, Palace have indeed been given plenty of opportunities to hone their live sound, taking the time to truly discover and relish in the art of live performance, with the band currently in the middle of yet another tour of the UK and Europe. “We are so out of our depth but it’s the best most exciting depth,” adds Leo.
After discussing their sound and unique live experience, it was comforting to hear that Australia is definitely firmly in their sights. “We are going to come over to Australia next year, probably a few times actually. We desperately want to get out there, none of us have ever been. This is the real joy of touring, we get to travel and go to places that we’ve never been to before and the opportunity to go to Australia and just see the country let alone play shows would just be amazing. It’s definitely up there on the list of places we most want to go.”
A word of advice: Take a chance and feast your ears on the debut album from Palace, So Long Forever. A truly beautiful record from a group of passionate musicians, who are definitely fast tracked for impressive success.
‘So Long Forever’ is out now. Grab a copy here.