Today, I am super delighted to welcome the charming, witty and immensely talented Alex Clemence, front man with English dream-indie-gaze band DayFlower, as guest reviewer on the blog. Alex is reviewing, ‘New Ghost‘, the latest single from Danish duo, Palace Winter, whose star is in such a rapid ascendancy it’ll soon shoot out through the atmosphere!
Introducing Alex … In his own words,
“Alex is a human male from Norwich who moved to Leicester in 2003 with the sole aim of failing to complete a degree in Economics. He achieved this in some style by dropping out after his first year.
When he isn’t working on fusing the nursery rhymes in his head with his own average guitar playing, he enjoys scotch bonnet chilli peppers, Haribo, Seinfeld box sets, weapons grade Polish lager, Poptarts, hanging out with his 6 year old son, American 9 ball pool (he is above average at this), dreaming up sitcoms that never seem to happen and being in love.”
Review: ‘New Ghost’, Palace Winter by Alex Clemence
“According to Palace Winter front man, Carl Coleman, “we like a sound that waves around with its genres”. Well it shows.
What this Copenhagen based duo manage to do is meld classic, almost jangly folk melodies, with danceable rhythms reminiscent of New Order, and what sounds like an 80’s analogue synth with the crystal clear guitar chime of The Cure. All of which they do beautifully, by the way.
I’m not going to disagree with a previous reviewer’s assertion that there is just a hint of R.E.M in the mix. Beneath the melting pot of pure 80s pop, you have a lightly strummed acoustic guitar and a yearning vocal melody that apart from Michael Stipe, also evokes the beauty of Alex Chilton & Big Star.
‘New Ghost’ is jam packed with melody, a new one emerging with each and every listen. This is the trick that great songs manage to pull off time and time again.
What struck me though was how these lads use reverb. Nothing gratuitous; I hate it when musicians do that. There is nothing worse than reverb being used to make up for the shortcomings of a song or musician. Palace Winter use it perfectly, adding just the right amount.
This song feels panoramic. It has space everywhere. There’s so much going on at once that you would be doing it a disservice if you listened to it for less than 8 times in a row. ‘New Ghost’ quite literally is the gift that keeps on giving.
I’m a particular fan of how this song ends. All euphoria fades away, leaving a single acoustic guitar. Underneath everything and by that I mean the pulse, the driving guitars, the reverb and the synth, is a simple heartfelt song that will always stand up as just vocals and guitar. Wonderful.
Well I love the track. For me, it is the perfect fusion of classic pop, the best bits of the 80s, carried along with a gorgeous soulful vocal, nesting on top of the music like a lost bird whistling into your ear whilst you’re being driven into the unknown.
‘New Ghost’ is my kind of journey.” Alex
Big up for Alex for giving ‘New Ghost’ some spin & ink; more kudos for those Palace Winter boys who seem to be doing everything just right these days!!
Just to put the cherry on the musical cake, Palace Winter has premiered the hauntingly beautiful, Cecilie Mc Nair directed visual for ‘New Ghost’. The video, shot in black and white, was produced by Matilda Appelin, with Sine Brooker in charge of photography. Discussing her approach to the brief, Cecilie told me,
“My intention with the video was to try to capture the cinematic feeling that the music invites. I tried to catch a sense of hidden memories and moments in one’s head that haunts yet comforts you. It’s unsettling but you don’t want it to leave.”
Cecilie has perfectly captured the essence of the song with a stunning film that conveys all the stark yet dreamy other worldliness of ‘New Ghost’. Watch it here.
Palace Winter play London’s Old Blue Last on 15th December, details here.
The debut EP, ‘Medication’ is out now via Tambhourinoceros.
Palace Winter will play the renowned by:Larm festival next year (where you also find a certain Derv!) – details here – (Mar 2-5, 2016 – By:Larm, Oslo)
You can follow Palace Winter’s antics on Twitter.
You can follow DayFlower on Facebook
Dayflower are curating a club night on 10th December in Leicester’s THE COOKIE – details here.