Local Indianapolis soul rock band The Palace is competing in the Battle of the Bands this week at The Hi-Fi. To get a better idea of their sound, today we’ll be looking at their single, “Waves”.
This Wednesday night is the third round of the semifinals for this year’s Battle of the Bands. For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at some of the other twenty-four competing bands, all of them fighting for their place in the finals held at The Vogue on February 15th. The winner will be rewarded $10,000 and a touring van.
The competition is looking pretty fierce for Wednesday night. Bands competing for this week’s semifinals include Audiodacity, Union Suit Rally, Moxxie, American Bombshell, Chives, and The Palace.
So before we get into our song of the day, here’s a little more information on The Palace, for anyone who either hasn’t heard of them, or is just a little curious to see how they stack up to the competition.
The Palace is a five piece soul and rock band from Indianapolis, Indiana. Their members include Ray Hutchins (vocals), James Knott (guitar), Ben Marcus (guitar), Bill Eckhart (keys), and Cameron Helm (drums). But to get a better idea of who they are, you can just read their band’s bio:
“Alternating between sweet soulful vocal runs and unabashed lead guitar, the band is about having fun with a few breaks for tenderness. Although the sound will swell and have you dancing to chugging blues riffs about “whatchamacall’em”, the noise will regularly make way for vocals that hush the room. The Palace was named after the house that was the social center of the band and the feeling of being at an intimate party has never left the set. If rock wore a smile and soul a smirk, there you have The Palace.”
Still a relatively young band, The Palace has only released one single (our song of the day). While you can expect more than that from them on Wednesday, we’ll have to stick with “Waves” for now to get an idea of their sound.
“Waves” is The Palace’s debut and sole single that was released last year. The track starts off with some low energy and Hutchins’ smooth vocals with gradually building guitar and drums over the first minute. The build up leads to a rock progression that runs into a short reggae section.
One thing that The Palace does best is nail every transition in “Waves” (and there are a lot of them). After the first major chorus section, a soulful guitar rips through at the top of another one. This is maybe my favorite section of “Waves”. not only for the fantastic solo, but for everything leading up to it, and the perfectly executed transition after.
One of the most interesting things about “Waves” is that it doesn’t follow the typical songwriting formula of verse – chorus – verse – chorus. Instead, it builds and builds over the course of the song, using transitions to keep up the momentum through the solo, and past it to the final chorus, only to come back down for a sweet ending. After listening to “Waves”, you’ll feel like The Palace has taken you on a journey.
As the Palace’s sole single, “Waves” doesn’t disappoint. The musicianship, lyricism, and songwriting ability comes through clearly. The Palace has definitely set the bar high with “Waves”. Now we’ll see if they can live up to it. Even though “Waves” is The Palace’s only released song, they’ll need to bring out some more this week.
To compete in the Battle of the Bands, each band is allotted a 25-minute set with a strict rule on one cover song per set. If you heard the Palace play before the semifinals, you should already be familiar with their set list. But if not, expect to hear a lot of new material from them Wednesday night.
Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.