A stormy and at times inspired debut...
'So Long Forever'

Relationships can be difficult, testing, fulfilling, and contradictory. For better or worse they form the basis of our lives and this is the central subject at the core of ‘So Long Forever’ from rising foursome Palace.

Recorded in an art warehouse in Tottenham and heavily influenced by the front man Leo Wyndham’s parent’s divorce, bereavement, and excruciating break ups, the album is a pool of bewildering emotion. Opening track ‘Break The Silence’ is all intricate guitars and pulsating kick drums, goes straight in to the foundations to accompany Wyndham’s sombre tone as he analyses the deterioration of a past connection.

Capturing the tumultuous pace and range of feelings, the first half of the album still longs for answers, dealing with the uncomfortable readjustment to an unwelcomed new chapter still in denial. “I’ve played heart strings before, but not in your key/Tell me I’m great again and that you love me more”, Wyndham pleads on ‘Bitter’ whilst ‘It’s Over’ is a cathartic exorcism, as reality hits.

The second part of the record documents the phase of acceptance, whilst looking to the future with positivity. ‘Have Faith’ radiates warmth, with upbeat melodies and lilting harmonies, title track ‘So Long Forever’ focuses on banishing the bad vibes and ‘Holy Smoke’ oozes with vulnerability.

Palace’s musicianship is one to commend on ‘So Long Forever’ combining luscious guitars, cinematic soundscapes, direct lyrics and sonic layers. However the album can become at times feel too self-involved and unsettled, in regards to the fluidity of the tracks and the thorough examination of emotions, which at time has the tendency to sound a little forced. Nevertheless this is a debut that will certainly strike a chord with many people far and wide.

6/10

Words: Lois Browne

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