Palace Winter · Won’t Be Long
The Copenhagen, Denmark-based pop duo and JOVM mainstays Palace Winter — Australian-born, Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter Carl Coleman and Danish-born, Copenhagen-based producer and classically trained pianist Caspar Hesselager — can trace their origins to the duo’s mutual familiarity and appreciation for each other’s work throughout a number of different projects over the years. Naturally, that mutual familiarity and appreciation for each other’s work led to the duo eventually deciding to work together.
Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Palace Winter’s sophomore album, 2018’s Nowaways found the duo expanding upon the sound and songwriting approach that won them praise, as they paired breezy and melodic, radio friendly pop with heavy thematic concerns — in particular, the album touched upon the loss of innocence of adulthood, the accompanying tough and sobering lessons as you get older, the freedom and power that comes as one takes control of their life and destiny and the like. But it’s all underpinned by the profound grief of inconsolable loss. Life, after all is about recognizing that immense heartbreak and devastating loss are part of the price of admission, and that somehow you have to figure out a way to move forward.
Palace Winter’s highly anticipated, third album . . . Keep Dreaming, Buddy is slated for an October 23, 2020 release through Tambourhinoceros Records — and unlike their preceding albums, . . .Keep Dreaming, Buddy‘s material was written through a long distance correspondence as the band’s Coleman was residing in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. “Caspar was sending me these synth hooks and drum loops from Denmark, so I started coming up with melodies and lyrical ideas to record into my phone,” Coleman says of the writing sessions. While Coleman’s lyrics were inspired by Tenerife’s unique landscape, drawing metaphorical parallels between Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano, which also is one of Spain’s tallest peaks and the looming fear of a relationship disintegrating, Hesselager’s instrumental parts were inspired by Copenhagen’s landscape. And as a result, the album’s material is literally a tale of two cities and two different emotional states.
Last month, I wrote about the album’s first single “Top of the Hill,” a perfect example of the album’s literal tale of two cities: shimmering and icy synths, thumping beats and an enormous, arena rock hook were paired with Coleman’s lyrics, centered round volcanic imagery to describe the bubbling and broiling feels of dissatisfaction, boredom, frustration, deceit and distrust of a relationship on a brink. But with everything in our lives, there are difficult decisions to be made, and the song subtly hints that despite it all, there’s a dim chance that the central relationship could possible survive — even if both parties know, deep down that it shouldn’t. Interestingly, “Won’t Be Long” is arguably one of the album’s most ambitious and expansive songs. Drawing from arena rock and glam rock and synth pop, the track is centered around a rousingly anthemic hook, a crunchy power chord-driven riff, hot, shimmering synth arpeggios, strummed acoustic guitar, the song is deceptively (and perhaps, ironically) upbeat.
Last year, Palace Winter’s Carl Coleman received a shock when he learned of a loved one’s urgent illness. And as a result, the song actually is centered around the reckoning of imminent loss, of anticipatory grief — and our attempts to escape the inevitable. But loss and despair are always just around the corner.