Led by Australian songwriter Carl Coleman and Danish songwriter/producer Caspar Hesselager, Palace Winter are three albums and two EPs into developing their ever-explorative guitar/synth rock.
Their latest record, ...Keep Dreaming, Buddy (‘20) is a collection of the band's most exciting and ambitious songs to date. Whilst keeping their widescreen, pop sensibilities, Coleman and Hesselager broaden their horizons, exploring hip-hop beats, 70s soul, 80s electronics and 90s guitars: picture “Jim James and St. Vincent producing Elliot Smith over Kendrick Lamar beats” they say. And somehow in this melting pot of styles their new record still sounds quintessentially Palace Winter.
The recently released solo piano EP 6 Songs, performed by Hessalger, revisits the band's first two records, Nowadays and Waiting for the World to Turn, which received critical acclaim from The Guardian, NME, The New York Times and more, plus support on BBC Radio 6 Music. In typical Palace Winter style, these albums explore themes of death, grief and trauma but always with an unmissable, forward-looking shade of optimism.
On ...Keep Dreaming, Buddy, this optimism shines through even stronger, but not without even stronger doubt. It was written during a daily long-distance correspondence of demos between Copenhagen and Tenerife while Carl was living on the island. “I was walking around this weird volcano island. The retro hotel was like some kind of forgotten paradise resort. The whole thing felt like some kind of Lynchian alternate reality” says Coleman.
The album puts Palace Winter’s contrasting sonic buoyancy and thematic struggle in even starker relief. “There’s a hint of a cry for freedom” says Hesselager of the album. This tone is reflected in the ambiguous album title ...Keep Dreaming, Buddy, which could be interpreted as easy-going encouragement or condescending sarcasm. “A passer-by might cry it out on a busy city street, or your partner might whisper it patronisingly under their breath.”