My Inspiration: The Palps – Dark Days | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle-based lo-fi prog band The Palps have released Dark Days, the first latest single from their second album Every Brook a Torrent.

The track is a well-crafted voyage of sound, complete with soaring folk pitched vocals,  interesting percussive punctuations and a Johnny Marr-esque guitar swirling around a spacious classic rock/post-punk mix. In true prog-rock fashion the track finishes with an epic and satisfying solo that plays the song out for a good three minutes, with every second of it feeling like time well spent.

Here, the band tells us what inspired the song, as well as other tracks on the new upcoming album…

The Palps’ second album Every Brook a Torrent seems to contain within it an infinite number of unconscious influences. Despite this the album is far from directionless, with its carefully crafted, musically dark complexity. Sometimes hopeful, sometimes doleful. There are, however, some stronger and more recognisable flavours within the album of music gone.

Lyrically, Every Brook a Torrent is more elliptical than the debut album And the Ground Grew Cold…. There are ribbons of thought that bind these songs together thematically, the most important being ‘dark waters’. As always, a huge inspiration was the melancholic, poetic songs of folk singer Phil Ochs. Maybe some of the confessional lyricism of Death Cab for Cutie as well.

On the opener Culd, the emotive and slowly deliberate guitar bears the hallmarks of English folk, though in a much more modern context. The textured synth invokes the expansiveness of some late 80’s Cure songs, and the note bends are heavily borrowed from Tame Impala. The outro synth passage is inspired by sensitive synthwave, notably Chromatics, and the way it melds with the haunting piano at the end is reminiscent of some of The Smiths’ ‘Louder than Bombs’ instrumental sections.

Hands Together, Eyes Closed, the second track, is too quintessentially Palpian to diagnose its influences. The first section has the swagger of 80’s LA metal but none of the bloat. It is the perfect rock song. The mid section is ineffably beautiful, whilst the final section is influenced by 60’s psychedelia as well as desert rock.

Wanderer has the feel of Fleet Foxes with a more psychedelic twist, and the kick drum marches the song on in a Celtic-folk fashion.

Gabriel’s Trumpet is a mixture of Yngwie Malmsteen influenced bombast, and Melvins’ stoner realism. The chord progressions share similarities with early Muse, though there is plenty of delicacy in this 10 minute song also.

The funeral dirge of Culdpoem is a moment of outsider-art brilliance that reflects the shadow side of this album. Tangerine Dream meets Syd Barrett, or something.

Dark Days has the slick jangle of an early Smiths song followed by an outrageous finale, only really at home on an album like Siamese Dream.

Octavia is heavily influenced by Tool but some of the jaggedness can be attributed to Zeppelin too, especially No Quarter.

Culdirge is the perfect distillation of all our influences but also the obvious high water mark of the band demonstrating its own unique sound. The euphoric synth in the chorus reminds of the brilliance of The Killers’ debut album.

Interlude 1 was partially inspired by Baroness’ harmonised interludes.

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