Storm the Palace are an Edinburgh and London based five-piece band who combine elements of baroque-pop and traditional folk with menacing melodies and cinematic flare. The band are preparing to release their debut album Snow, Stars and Public Transport on 12th May 2017 via Abandoned Love Records.
A labour of love, the record was written over a nine year period while singer, Sophie Dodds, lived in London. Originally from Edinburgh, Sophie used her time in the city to write and create vignettes of her life; snapshots of the people who passed through it and how the city’s unfolding narratives impacted upon her.
In this interview spotlight, we chat with the band about influences, the digital age, their newest project and more.
Full Q&A, links and a stream of DLR Dreaming below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
I’ve never consciously sought to work within a particular genre. I try to write interesting, heartfelt songs and then the style evolves from whoever and whatever is around to bring those songs to life.
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
Like most musicians I come from a musical family – my dad is a classical oboe player. The question of what drives me to push it out to the public is a very good one, and not easy to answer. It’s partly because I love performing live, partly because ‘promoting it’ is part of the creative process – having an album or a tour to work towards keeps the creative momentum going. And I suppose, deep down, I must feel that I have something to say.
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
I’m very drawn to urban environments, and the seeming mundanities of everyday life. In terms of other musicians… A very wide range. I first started playing guitar because of bands like Blur and Elastica. After that Björk was a huge thing, but I also listen to a lot of classical and folk. I don’t think my tastes have changed that much as I’ve got older, simply expanded. And my environments have changed and that affects my listening habits. For example I don’t spend as much time in night clubs now, so I listen to less rock and pop – but that doesn’t mean I don’t still love some of those artists. That said, I’m feeling the need to do something a lot heavier for my next project – so perhaps I’m just going full circle!
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
This album is a collection of 10 songs that were all written during the 9 years I lived in London. I didn’t consciously set out to follow a particular theme, but once we had the songs together it became apparent that they were all about the city in some way, hence why we refer to it as an ‘unintentional concept album’.
What was the last song you listened to?
Something by The Shins. I’ve been re-listening to their back catalogue after a few people have said that we remind them of The Shins. It’s a flattering comparison.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
I’m so predictable… Vinyl. All the way. (Did I mention our album is coming out on vinyl!?)
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Bandcamp. Because it represents everything that is good about the digital music revolution, and the others represent everything that’s wrong with it. I could write an essay on this but I’m sure you’ve got better things to do.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
Well I suppose it’s just that really – the ease of access and the way that makes everyone take music for granted. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. And the worst part of it is that no one who doesn’t deal directly with the music industry seems to understand the impact this has had, so people hear you’ve been played on the radio and assume you must be raking it in when you’re barely breaking even. And Storm the Palace also faces the challenge of not fitting neatly into any particular genre or category, or even a particular part of the world… Which is something I’m proud of but it can mean that people, press, music industry types etc. don’t really know what to do with us.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
Anything else you’d like to add before signing off?
I was about to mention our upcoming UK and Ireland Tour but I guess most of your readers are American! Sorry guys. We were in the States last year and we hope very much to be back again soon…