Ones To Watch: Storm The Palace

Many bands take their time over the construction of their second or third albums – but how many dedicate nine years to the creation and curation of their debut?  For lead singer Sophie Dodds and the assembled musicians known collectively as Storm The Palace, assembling this collection of vignettes of city life into new album Snow, Stars and Public Transport, has been a lengthy process; but now, with the album’s recent release and having just completed a UK/Ireland tour, Storm The Palace are emerging fully-formed.

These days, bristling in the wake of the Mumfords and Fleet Foxes, one’s first instinct would be to describe Storm The Palace’s winsome vocals, tonnes of instrumentation and stories-in-song lyrics as ‘folk’. But the group’s overall sound veers far more towards chamber pop and pop-baroque, with the lyrics of each of the songs on Snow, Stars And Public Transport being set into an atmospheric blizzard – none more so than on opener ‘The Moon Above Villiers Street’.  

The group also display bossanova tendencies – ‘La Lido’, calling to mind Kirsty Macoll’s ‘England 2 Colombia 0’; an upbeat indie-folk style – ‘Go Home’; and a recurring minor-key mood – ‘DLR Dreaming’, ‘Little Rituals’. After just one listen to this eclectic collection of tracks, the final impression is of a group who have taken their time to get all of the pieces in place – even down to the diegetic noise of a station tannoy and train wheels on rails.

So, given its lengthy gestation, now’s the perfect time to bask in the world of Storm The Palace. Hopefully we’ll hear from them a little more quickly next time.

Snow, Stars And Public Transport is out now via Abandoned Love Records.

John McGovern