Palaces 宫殿
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Palaces 宫殿

Cork, Munster, Ireland | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Cork, Munster, Ireland
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Independent Irish Rockers Are ‘Without A Doubt’ The Real Music Goods"

Palaces are a massively talented Indie-rock duo hailing out of Cork, Ireland.
These gigantic vocals and overall melodic yet grooving music tones are nothing less than brilliant. I was completely engaged in their whole music atmosphere and radiant sound definition.
On that note, I only see ‘big appeal’ and worldwide possibilities here for music appreciators surely connecting their ear music modules straightaway with these fantastic irish rockers.
-Forkster - Forkster

"Review: Palaces"

Everything about Palaces sounds big; you would never guess all this sound comes from just two people. Comprised of Annie Sutton and Dave Carey; this Cork-based indie electro-pop duo released their self-titled début in March 2014. In an interview with the Cork News, producer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Carey explained the inception of the album:

“I have been interested in the technical side of music for a long time now, becoming gradually more proficient at recording, designing my own guitar effects, using the computer to alter my guitar etc… Late last year I thought that I had finally reached the stage where it would be possible for me to take on such a big project, and so we started work on the album in September.”

Palaces features ten tracks ; each one a sumptuous feast of layered vocals, electronic effects, moody atmospherics and twanging guitar. The group liken their sound to the music of The XX and Daughter, I would also add to that list the stadium anthems of Coldplay and Florence and The Machine.

Album highlights for me include the two singles “Periphery“ and “Hit Me Hard”. Both of which – if there was any justice in the world – could and should be heard on mainstream Irish airwaves. “Periphery” in particular highlights Palaces’ innate talent for the build-up of tension which is ultimately released in a euphoric anthemic chorus. Another favourite is “In Your Eyes”, a minimalist XX-inspired track which puts the cut-glass perfection of Sutton’s voice front and centre against a backdrop of moody electronic effects and guitar.

Kudos must also be given to the thoroughly professional and glossy production of the album. In spite of a great variety of sound on the record, you never lose sight of the band’s personality. Palaces also showcases a welcome sense of precision and control; something which is often quite absent from debut releases.

Palaces are intending to move to China in the future in order to build a new fan-base; something which is both a sore loss to local music and a sad testament to the unaccommodating nature of the Irish music scene. If anything, this should provide an impetus for Cork music listeners to discover their excellent music and to spread the good word of Palaces as soon as possible.

You can hear the full album on Soundcloud, on their website, or Spotify. Palaces is available for purchase on iTunes for €3.99.

MF - Mellow Projects

"Palaces: Opening New Doors"

The indie-pop two-piece of Dave Carey and Annie Sutton was formed only last year and the pair have already released a debut album and supported Paddy Casey. Now Palaces are setting their sights on the Chinese market with plans to move to Beijing. Play's Maria Tracey catches up with the duo to discuss their anthemic sound, living room recordings, and their plans to tap a market of 13 million new fans.

For newly formed indie pop group Palaces, an upcoming move to China is all down to mathematics. The Cork duo- featuring guitarist and pianist Dave Carey and vocalist Annie Sutton- are part of an ever increasing number of Western acts seeking to break onto the lucrative Chinese scene. "Let’s say we get 1% of Ireland’s population to listen to our music, maybe even buy our album, that’s 40,000 people, great!" says Sutton. "But let’s say we get 1% of the city of Beijing alone to do the same. That’s 215,000 people. Then let’s go a step further and say 1% of China. That’s approximately 13,653,300 fans. A lot of people say, 'What about the language barrier, won’t that be a problem?' Personally, I don’t think so. The Chinese people are obsessed with Western culture and that phenomenon is only growing, whether it be in music, fashion, coffee, everything! It’s an adventure."

The pair first met in University College Cork four years ago, where they both studied music. Describing themselves as "best friends" from the very beginning, they played music together occasionally. However, the idea to actually write and perform together didn’t occur to them until a little over a year ago, when Carey approached Sutton and asked her to write vocals for an instrumental he had created. That song was Home Is Where The Heart Is, which features on their self-titled 10-track debut album, which was released in March. The project has been described by one music blogger as having a sound that would remind listeners of a female-fronted Coldplay. "I have been interested in the technical side of music for a long time now, becoming gradually more proficient at recording, designing my own guitar effects, using the computer to alter my guitar’s sound, et cetera." explains Carey. "Late last year I thought that I had finally reached the stage where it would be possible for me to take on such a big project, and so we started work on the album in September. It was released on March 22nd this year."

Such is Sutton and Carey's focus that even the band's name is a nod to the Orient. "Deciding on the name was one of the hardest things we had to do. We actually had many of the songs written for the album before we settled upon Palaces," reveals Carey. Sutton adds: "I actually came up with Palaces after various ridiculous name suggestions from Dave… I think the name Hamburger was even thrown out there," she laughs. "I thought Palaces would be fitting for both a Chinese and a Western audience as it kind of gives you an insight into what our music will sound like before you even listen to it."

Carey was studying Mandarin at the time with his teacher Xie Songshan, and wisely asked her advice: "She said it reminded her of Enya, and something atmospheric and majestic sounding, which were really pleased with." he says.

Leaving Ireland was always part of their plan: "Part of it was a desire to travel, and part of it was about the practicalities of a career in music. We had to choose between the UK, USA and China, and initially settled on China because it is the music industry experiencing the most growth at the moment, which I know is a very boring, business-like answer." he laughs. "We both love the country and the culture, which helps enormously. I enjoy stepping outside my comfort zone and experiencing different things.

"I feel that moving away from Ireland is the only way to make a living in music. The market here is just not big enough, and it's saturated with far too many great bands who aren’t making any money. I guess it's simply a lack of people to support a proper music industry here."

Carey believes there are various reasons why it's difficult for young bands to break into the industry. "People get music for free nowadays- and of course there are many benefits to that- but it can make it harder to connect with your target audience, to build up a fanbase," he states. "Part of the problem is also in people’s perception. Not many people aim to make a living out of original music here, so it can be hard to be taken seriously as an original band."

This is a point echoed by Sutton, who highlights that talented local musicians are struggling to be seen and heard: "You busk on the streets here, you get €4… you busk on the streets in Beijing and you get 400 new fans." she explains.

Both Sutton and Carey accept China will be a challenge, but it's one they are both embracing. Indeed the friends have already overcome a number of tests since Palaces was formed last year, including self-producing their debut album in their living room. "We use the term 'living room' very loosely because it was more like a tiled box with a roof that you could live in," Sutton smiles. "We lived in that tiny apartment with one other person. When we were recording there, we had to go into the bedroom at the back of the apartment to record vocals so that the mic wouldn’t pick up the traffic noise. We also had to turn off all appliances like the washing machine and even the oven at times because they would be picked up too. That just gives you an insight into the space we were dealing with. And we also had to make sure not to record for too long in case we made the crazy guy downstairs mad!"

Carey admits that the small recording space was one of the major challenges in the recording process: "We did go to a recording studio for one day- Claycastle Studios in Youghal- to record the drums as we didn't have the equipment to do this. Two of our friends, Alan O’Leary and Fergal McCarthy provided their drumming skills on seven of the 10 tracks and add greatly to the album." he says.

"Annie and I were both engaged in a lot of study at the time as it was the final year of our music degrees so the album took about six months to complete. Now that we have the experience of making this one, I think we could probably do another in far less time."

Initially Palaces looked toward producing an "extremely atmospheric, laid-back" sound, similar to The XX. However, as the writing for the album progressed, the pair realised their songs were more anthemic than what they had first envisaged: "The result is a mixture of laid back, dreamy indie songs and atmospheric indie anthems that sits somewhere between Coldplay, The XX and Bloc Party." says Carey.

For more on Palaces see or - The Cork News


March 22nd 2014: Palaces 宫殿
Out soon: In Your Eyes EP


Feeling a bit camera shy