Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Secret Friends Fest: Listening to PALACES

This is a synth-rock that can sound sweet and sinister at the same time. Detroit duo PALACES create keyed-up tumblers of aerodynamic rock n roll that's got  just the right amount of dissonance and nervy-melodic quavering from accompanying synthesizers. The programmed percussive arrangements tend toward the cinematic, whether evoking some determined badass stride, a shunted bolt down a neon-splashed alley, or just the softly percolated shish/crash spill of electronic cymbals, building a swoon under the angular guitars as they synchronize with your heartbeat.  

The guitar/bass duo known as Cat Cobra and S.S.  are blending the vaporous swarm of a dark new wave drone and the head-swelling flutter/fall of dream-pop, with a more fleet-footed dance-beat popping under an ultraviolet sheen of pedal-effected dyanmics and dapple a vibe of shoegaze and post-punk riffs intercut with glowing synth chimes.  New Hollywood Emotion is such an apt title for these tight pop/rock churns and sweet surfy melodies, because the distinctive songs delve in to moods of melodrama and fancyfree, of ominous dread and heart-achey reverie; it feels like a movie, as these pop songs can suggest a sense of both urgency and escapism, that everything's at stake, and yet maybe nothing at all is...

I can't wait for you to hear the syncopated riffs of "Dust," the earworm melodies of their dance-jam "Telephone," or the complex and spacy glide & churn of "Axiomatic..." The album is released Jan 26, but you can anticipate hearing lots of the songs from New Hollywood Emotion on Saturday night, for the 4th annual Secret Friends Fest. 

Secret Friends Fest is an endearing event that emphasizes camaraderie between artists, and also among fans. It's harder than ever to figure out how to make a band work in a post-Internet music industry; in fact, it can be downright nerve-wracking. SFF serves as a summit where touring bands from around the region can come find a new audience in Detroit, explicitly under a banner of forging a subtle friendship between each band, a way of saying to each other: Hey, sometime in the future, if you need any thing, if I can give you anything, if we can book a show, if you wanna sleep on my couch, just let me know... 
Here's the line up
Main Stage
12 - HALA
11 - Valley Hush
10 - GGOOLLDD (Milwaukee)

Side Stage
11:30 - Tart
10:30 - PARTS(Grand Rapids)
9:30 - don't
8:30 - ARC PELT

In good comapny!! In the last few years PALACES have shared the stage with Day Wave, Disappears (Kranky), NOTHING (Relapse), Saint Motel, Fat White Family (Fat Possum), Cymbals Eat Guitars (Barsuk), Mourn (Captured Tracks) Jacco Gardner (Trouble In Mind), The Big Sleep (Frenchkiss), El Ten Eleven, Cloakroom, Those Darlins (Oh Wow Dang), Beacon (Ghostly Int'l), The Octopus Project (Austin,TX), Breton (Fatcat/UK), Spindrift, Stereo Total (Berlin), PUJOL (Third Man/Saddle Creek) and more.

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