Palace Winter – Waiting for the World to Turn

8 Production
10 Composition
8 Mood
8 Instrumentation

The Antwerp marina is a strangely looming place – a large open space surrounded by a hodgepodge of old and new building styles, dominated by the monolithic building of the MAS museum in the middle and an ever-overcast grey sky. The big and small boats laying in wait are always the same ones year in, year out. Nothing seems to change around this place. The large open boulevards surrounding the water give the space a clear atmosphere and the boulevards, littered with plantation, are a relief in comparison to the the chocking, treeless inner city. One blue Monday evening I find myself sitting with my friend at the water’s edge, just hanging out, and trying to find the least socially accepted music to blast while still looking cool. A middle-aged guy cycles past and compliments us for playing Infected Mushroom, but the rest of the records pretty much fail to impress the crowd of British tourists and jogging hipsters. Tonight, music is the conversational topic of choice, and I can’t help myself but talk about this record I discovered, even though I know it isn’t exactly like Infected Mushroom…

RELEASE DATE: 03 June 2016 LABEL: Tambourhinoceros

“…but the record is darned great. It is so well composed! The songs are very catchy and they flow perfectly from one to another – despite the fact that the songs appear on the album in the order that they were written. The transition between the last two songs, DEPENDENCE and INDEPENDENCE, is heartbreakingly perfect.”

Truthfully, I can’t stop talking about the wonder of Waiting for the World to Turn’s last two songs. DEPENDENCE is a slow, synth-driven ballad, very moody and melancholic, while INDEPENDENCE is way more upbeat, and almost happy. This combination of happy and sad is very typical for this record. Many songs are very uplifting, like album opener DUNE WIND, but deal with themes such as death, departing, relationships, exploring the past, and dreams.

DUNE WIND is also a good example of the quality guitar playing on this album. It starts out as a sympathetic country-goes-drum and bass ditty, but when the dreamy guitars kick in before the verse, the whole song shifts gear and the atmosphere changes like in a Murakami novel. The rest of the instrumentation is far from mediocre and do not fall behind either. The synths are generally great on this album (cf. the self-proclaimed epic synth solo on H.W. RUNNING), and session drummer Christian Rindorf does an outstanding job at laying down the rhythms.

Palace Winter are a band with a very diverse sound and the denomination psychedelic indie does not do them justice. There are many elements of other genres like country and new wave present, but the record feels surprisingly coherent. Even though every song has its own stylistic touch, all of them are brought together by a pervasive literary air. Like the scenes in Dumbsaint’s thriller movie Panorama, in Ten Pieces, it seems that all songs are interconnected in some obscure way, telling stories about individual characters, living in the same street or neighbourhood. Not unlike the Dumbsaint movie, which is set in a cold suburb, Palace Winter shoot for a looming, haunting atmosphere that pervades beauty and melancholia, but also death and sedation.

Palace Winter possess incredible pop sensibility, not only in its melodies and composition, but also in it’s sound. The band are by no way slick-sounding – the record is literally full of strange textures and noisy keyboards – but the self-produced band does a really good job at making psychedelic noise listenable. Waiting For the World to Turn is an everybody’s friend. It is listenable, danceable, contemplative and cherishable. Nobody will dislike this record.


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