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SINGLE REVIEW: Palace - Gravity

Back From Heaven

Palace - Gravity (2021 UMO)

I've always been convinced that Palace are incapable of making a bad song. With their latest single the London group have proved me right once again. The first fruit of their latest harvest, new song 'Gravity' has arrived with an announcement of Palace's upcoming third record, and it's fair to say that we're very excited.

The London group has time and time again made their way into our writing at SMPM. From our review of Someday, Somewhere, and 'I'll Be Fine' featuring on our list of the Best Songs of 2020, to 2016's So Long Forever placing at #59 on our list of the Top 100 Albums of the 2010s, and naming their follow-up LP Life After as one of our favourite records of 2019. As you can probably tell, we quite enjoy Palace.

‘Gravity’ is a woozy, swirling reflection on existentialism that spirals into a soaring breakdown. The song is a sonically striking number at just over five minutes long, packed with traces of psychedelic grooves and blues elements. It feels like a mix between the usual Palace sounds and early (see: good) Coldplay, with whiffs of Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head serving to reiterate the charming genius of the band's now signature style. The track has an absolutely unique sound that gives me a feeling that I cannot really describe in words, like a feeling of nostalgia for something that I haven’t experienced. It stands different from the band’s earlier music, but still somehow familiar. Quintessentially Palace, with ethereal vocals and electric riffs that put you in a trance just as they always have.

According to frontman Leo Wyndham,

“Gravity is about the perspective-shifting realisation of our own insignificance- that we are all just atoms of air and water in an infinite universe. It’s these sobering night-time thoughts that can keep us awake in a state of paranoia, doubting our own purpose and place.”

And it's a description that resonates throughout the music of 'Gravity.' In fact, it's a kind of meditation that distils what Palace's music has always felt like. Songs placed in colossal landscapes, but transfixed with lone voices singing into the void.

While a good song is a gem to be treasured, hearing a good song that also has an interesting music video really just makes my day. The music video for ‘Gravity’ is just as otherworldly as the song, with what looks like fish swirling around in a kind of surreal ocean-like abyss throughout the video- like a sequence from a dream. Following the fish feels almost hypnotic. I don’t really know how to explain this except by recommending that everyone watch the video when they hear the song, but somehow the way the fish are floating is exactly how it feels to listen to Palace.

If the news of Palace’s upcoming album wasn’t exciting enough, they have also announced a massive lineup of UK and Europe tour dates for next year, by which time ‘Gravity’ will probably be a huge fan favourite. This song is one to lose yourself in, to allow yourself to get sucked into and consumed by. I can’t stop listening to the track after I first heard it, and am going to keep doing that until the release of the rest of their album- I highly recommend that you do too.

- very good -


Tara Choudhary is a third-year student at King’s College London, who euphemises her indecisiveness by saying she studies the Liberal Arts. She enjoys music, theatre and basically anything she can categorise as “not math”.

Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture website created and edited by Ben Wheadon, an English literature graduate and guitarist from South Wales. He edited this article and is a Fleet Foxes shill.

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