We are very pleased to premiere the electric new single ‘The Winter Palace’ from Rodney Cromwell, the nom de guerre of musician Adam Cresswell, backed by the instrumental ‘Rod, Jane and Freddy’.
‘The Winter Palace’ is a rich and luscious track, opening up with an atmospheric Vangelis-like Blade Runner fugue before launching into an aquatic babbling brook of electronica with Cresswell’s deep, yearning, dreamy vocals floating in the ether. This is euphoric electronic pop of the highest order that has its roots firmly planted in the rich soil of eighties electronica of the sort created by Cabaret Voltaire, OMD, Depeche Mode and Blancmange.
Icy arpeggiated synths are softened by the melodic rapture of the vocals and the stirring arrangements that ebb and flow like the tide. There is a stirring counterpoint between the twinkling piano skipping through the wash of the synths and the deep sonorous vocals that are distant and observant, with a fey romanticism in the lyrics:
I dream of you regardless whether I am asleep or awake
Cresswell says of the track:
‘The Winter Palace’ is about a relationship that has gone cold and ended. But as much as you try to move on and expel that person from your memory, there is a part of your subconscious that just can’t stop obsessing about them. I wrote it with a specific time in my life in mind, but equally it could be a song about anything, even my lifelong obsession with music; that in itself is something that I often think I should walk away from, for the sake of my own mental health, but I can’t help being pulled back.
This song that seems to have resonated with my fans with people keep telling me how much they love it, which is fantastic, not least it took me longer than anything ever to write and record. I rewrote the melody three times and the vocals twice. I ended up pitching the whole song into a different key so it fitted my voice better. It was made with almost entirely vintage gear including an old Moog and an ARP synth from the early 80s plus the very early Boss DR-55 drum machine, which is the same one as The Cure used on Pornography and Depeche Mode used on their first album. The synths alone took hours to just warm up so they are in tune, which probably added to how long the whole thing took.
This is pulse-quickening, gold standard pop:
The release is accompanied by the instrumental track ‘Rod, Jane and Freddy’ – a fairground whirl of electronic blips and Casio riffs that hops and skips with an abandoned joy, named after the performance group from 1980’s ITV children’s show Rainbow. Cresswell says:
With all my singles on this album, I’ve been trying to give an all new b-side, this one Rod, Jane and Freddy is named after the singing dancing trio from the TV show Rainbow. I sometimes wear bright coloured knitted sweaters on stage for that wicked retro-feel. I ought to buy myself some yellow dungarees to go with it really.
‘The Winter Palace’ comes off Rodney Cromwell’s album ‘Memory Box’ released earlier this year – have a listen below:
In the meantime, Rodney Cromwell is currently supporting the legendary Blancmange with one more date in November – details below.