In the space of Chase The Light’s mere five songs, Palace prove themselves to be a band on the rise. Though their style and tone might not exactly be distinct – they explore the same gently melancholic territory that higher profile acts such as My Morning Jacket have been working within for years – they do carry their EP off with a style and panache that comes to feel genuinely impressive.
Chase The Light is characterised by a languid, relaxed feel: even the EP’s most up-tempo song, Kiloran, oozes a laid-back charisma. Nothing is rushed, and as a result, everything is imbued with an effective level of sincerity. Every note, every lyric rings true. Even Head Above The Water, the EP’s slickest track, feels essential, some feat indeed, given how easily it could have sounded like radio-fodder of the most derivative order.
A lot of the band’s successes can be attributed not only to lead singer Leo Wyndham’s beautiful voice, but also the way it is used. Given the technical perfection of his tones, the temptation must have been there to oversaturate the release with his voice, at the expense of the instrumentation and the lyric. But Palace seem to understand that understatement is the way to go, and Wyndham’s effective vocals streamline with the melodies, rather than swamp them. Tomahawk is perhaps the best example of this: it’s a beautiful, studied portrait of quiet tragedy that packs a genuine emotional punch.
Though there’s nothing strictly religious about the band, EP closer Chase The Light has an almost spiritual quality. It’s considered; it’s moving; and it’s a perfect way to finish off a very admirable release indeed. Though you might not have necessarily heard of Palace yet, mark my words: the countdown to their inevitable crossover success begins today. It’s only a matter of time now.