A Triptych of Nostalgic Positivity
- Reviewed by Holly Sommers -
Palace have really nailed the genre of the somewhat nostalgic yet still vaguely positive break up song, and their latest triptych of an EP takes you through all those break up stages and all of the emotions that invariably follow. Following on from 2016's So Long Forever, and Life After, one of our favourite albums of 2019, Palace's latest effort is just more effortless quality from one of the UK's most essential groups, and stands out as required listening in 2020.
Immediately, title track 'Someday, Somewhere' captures that nauseating feeling of a chance encounter with an ex, bumping into each other at the worst of times. Evoking visions of when, in the middle of Oxford Street, you somehow have to gloss over memories of laying wrapped up in each other, texting each others parents, and once wandering through Seven Sisters arm in arm on the way back from an agonisingly terrible dinner, knowing you’d have a full debrief of the experience in bed together when you got home.
Instead, you now babble about how your brother finally got into university, that your mum was doing much the same, and that you were trying (and failing) to find an internship. In short, as Leo Wyndham sings, with a voice that evokes the ease of speaking, you are “ghosts” to each other.
“Ghost I wish you well, it's your life
I pray you find yourself, as souls divide
Seven sisters blue, it's your life”
'I'll Be Fine' is the perfect example of Palace’s reflective-yet-positive sound. As the lyrics oscillate from “I wouldn’t change anything” and simply “I’m fine” alongside a fairly upbeat, almost ukulele-style strum, to the increasing despair of the very weaving of a heart’s tapestry being undone, they retain their almost alarmingly peaceful signature style of a calm English voice paired with achingly beautiful East Coast electric guitar meanderings.
Finally, 'Flesh to the Fallen' is the break up redemption song. Reminding us why we give all of ourselves to someone in the first place. It is softly spoken and gently played, in Palace’s characteristically uncomplicated style; prioritising what has been praised as “emotionally literate” lyrics over fussy and complex layers of sound.
“You've taken me from my fear
And you've placed me in my future”
With Someday, Somewhere Palace have presented three songs perfectly designed for heading Northbound on the Piccadilly line at 3am with tears in your eyes, smugly acting as if you should be the lead in your own indie coming-of-age romantic film; perhaps scrolling through the holiday album of an ex you should have definitely deleted by now. However, as the final chords play, you’re reminded that although love hurts - and you swear that you’ll remain single - you’ll inevitably fall again, and in the end, everything might just turn out fine.
- great -
Holly Sommers is an International Relations graduate who likes literally everything except maths. She’s currently living in Italy, attempting to learn Italian and the art of eating good. Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and co-edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill.
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