I was in Dublin, Ireland for the weekend when I had the amazing opportunity to speak with a few members of the London-based, alt-rock band, Palace. They were performing at the Workman’s Club, an intimate, yet lively, music venue and bar.
The band members, Leo Wyndham (vocalist/guitarist), Matt Hodges (drummer), and Rupert Turner (guitarist) began creating their heavenly tunes in 2014.
The sounds these musicians create are like something you have never heard before. When hearing them live, you can feel the delicacy behind their work. One might find that they can attach a piece of their own life to some of these songs. In our conversation, Leo described the inspiration behind some of his songs, “A lot of the songs are about family – kind of the mechanics of family life and ups and downs, things you go through growing up.”
One of my favorite songs, “Holy Smoke”, captures the essence of family and loved ones. It was written three years ago after Leo had gone through a passing of a loved one. “I was in the room just after it had happened,” he explained. “My mum said, ‘Oh, you know when someone dies you need to open up the window to release the soul. Holy smoke is meant to be this kind of soul escaping, and that song is about that experience.”
Where It All Started
Although Matt and Rupert are both from Dorset, England and Leo is from Brighton, the three went to school together in Dorset, Matt explained to me. “We’ve known each other a really long time, since we were like thirteen.”
They all moved to London years later where they formed the band. “Rupert had been in other bands but we played a bit together. It was cool,” Matt said. While it took them quite some time to officially form the band, they would discuss it every so often over drinks. But after a while, Matt explained, they “…just started to have some jams and it kind of just stemmed from that.”
After officially forming in 2014, it was time to agree on a band name. “We had an agent at that point and it was amazing,” said Matt. “We kind of did things in a weird order. We were lucky enough to have an agent before even having a band name.” They actually needed a band name quite quickly, as their agent was requesting it for the posters that were advertising their first gig.
They finally decided on the name, Palace, which came from Leo’s younger brother. “He was our first bass player and we needed a name for a few months because we had a gig coming up. And he texted that name as just kind of a joke and it just stuck,” explained Leo. “Everyone was just like ‘yeah that’s it, that’s the name.'”
It is easy to fall in love with their many soulful and touching tunes – So many, it made me question how they go about selecting which songs to perform. “You can’t do lots of big [songs] and then small [songs]. It has to take you on a bit of a ride,” Leo said. He called this a “dynamic journey,” and what I witnessed that night in Dublin was exactly that.
The band is coming out with a new album very soon, which actually contains one of Matt’s favorite songs, “All in My Stride.”
But, before that album comes out, do yourself a favor and give their past ones a listen. You might just find your new favorite band.