New Palace Talkies: Brassed (Off)

Like many observers, ANBAD has long noted the shift towards ever-complex pop music from solo artists.

Being a soloist takes the desire to produce intricate music, then magnifies and massages it to tesseract-proportions of delicacy and contortionism.

Not having a drummer constantly on your case about the lack of room in the song for a tom-tom fill allows ideas to ferment beyond usual parameters, I suppose.

New Palace Talkies, despite the pluralised name, is a solo project, that, excitingly, expands to an eight-piece when the live brass section performs.

Yep. Live brass. You’re interested now, right?

Indeed, what’s overwhlemingly intriguing about Who Can Say is the prospect of a live brass-propelled version. But while we’re stuck listening through our headphones we can enjoy a song that revels in its own complications.

Beats skitter – finally, a legitimate use of that particular cliché – and the song’s melody really explores the room.

Yes, the above undersells the song mightily. It is hard to describe music that is often ludicrously self-indulgent in any other way. But New Palace Talkies is a man wrestling with his dual sensibilities: the need to make coiling and complex sounds, and the understanding that it has to have, you know, a tune and palatability.

He nails it. As the song dissolves and bobs skyward near the end, every noodling is suddenly justified.


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