REVIEW: PALACE WINTER – MEDICATION EP

8/10

REVIEW: PALACE WINTER - MEDICATION EP

The cross continental duo Palace Winter is releasing their debut EP Medication on October 2. The EP features the critically acclaimed singles Time Machine and Menton. Medication is a perfectly balanced mix of guitar driven indie and synth pop. Their sound operates in the same wheelhouse as The Vaccines, and Maccabees with a little more electronica tossed into the mix.

In spring of 2014 Dane Casper Hesselager, formerly of My Heart is Brave and Rumour Said Fire, met Australian Carl Coleman, formerly of Sinking Ships, while sharing a tour bus in Denmark and found out they liked the same music. Soon there after the pair started writing together and had their first raw product, they then sent bits and pieces of songs back and forth fine tuning the songs. Each member of the duo has a specialty, Casper as a producer and pianist, and Carl as a singer/ songwriter. The duo cites Elliot Smith and Seinfeld among their numerous influences.

Palace Winter were signed by the Copenhagen based record company Tambourhinoceros. With the pre release of the singles, Time Machine and Menton the pair have proven that they have their finger on the pulse of modern music. They have gained critical praise and track of the day designations on numerous music sites including XS Noize. Hesselanger and Coleman show an innate ability to take their cues from stellar bands of the 00’s and 90’s and drain out the cant to produce something unique.

The duo come from different spectrums of the musical wheel but compliment each others abilities, each providing the missing piece for the other. The evidence of that ability is found on Medication which contains five tunes and begins with their first single, Time Machine. This indie pop track got a lot of love from critics and music aficionados upon its release early this year. It provided the world with its first peek at what Palace Winter has on offer. Among the song’s many attractions is the jangly REM guitar circa “Murmur” mixed with Coleman’s Ian Curtis like vocal making for an engaging track. The song tackles the topic of desiring to take a loved one back to the best times of the person’s life; it is mesmerizing and lofty.

Woke in the Night, the Phone was Ringing has a glichy electronica feel with a pulled around guitar producing a groggy, lyrical trance inducing sound. The song conveys the feeling you have when you wake up from a deep sleep to the phone ringing with your heart racing and your head swimming. The track emphasizes Hesselager’s ace production skills.

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The song Menton according to the band was inspired by road trips in the South of France and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof”. It is the second single off of the EP and is the song that drew me into the release. It returns to the pop feel of the first song with the jangling guitar, but that is an oversimplification as it is an intricate and arresting tune. It follows the fine tradition of bands like Arcade Fire, Wilco, REM and Spoon. The song blends synths with guitar riffs and 90’s rhythms; and is equal parts energetic, soaring, and an ebullient aural treat.

New Ghost uses 90’s indie pop as its trail guide on this mid tempo track. It features a swirling acoustic guitar and an arresting vocal reverb. The final selection is Stockholm which has an ambient crystalline sound and top notch production. The great spacey opening intro leads to a song that is evocative and melancholy and feels like the end credits song to an introspective movie. It is a fantastic conclusion to a delightfully discovery.

Hesselager and Coleman as Palace Winter show a lot of promise and potential. The ability to marry their musical tastes to their songwriting makes for a unique collection of songs that come from various genres and should attract many indie listeners. Medication is a worthy EP to seek out and add to your collection.

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