We are catatonic with excitement at being able to exclusively bring you the first listen to the debut single from one of Australia’s most anticipated indie supergroups, The Gin Palace. The Gin Palace are comprised of Peter Fenton of Crow, Paul McDonald (Glide, Charlie Horse), Mark Tobin (Scarlet Caligula, The Finalists) Marc Lynch (Glide, JOEYS COOP) and Brad Christmas and Gareth Richards of Copperline. A knee trembling, pulse quickening line-up of pure vintage spirit.
As a reflection of their status and esteemed position in the music pantheon, The Gin Palace are supporting The Charlatans on their current Australian tour despite not having released a single, with some formidable gigs ahead on the calendar. With the constituent pedigree of its members, it is easy to see why ‘Burn Your Heart Out’, their first single, is creating so much anticipation in the industry. From opening strokes of the trembling, shimmering guitars that ring out with a Johnny Marr jangle, the anticipation is more than rewarded.
‘Burn Your Heart’ immediately makes me think of the majesty of one of Australia’s greatest bands, Died Pretty, with its anthemic, epic choruses, the crystalline, chiming guitars and sweeping strings. Deep in its very heart is the much lauded antipodean sound of bands like The Chills and the Bad Seeds. Statuesque storytelling with a restless ambitious raw motion that creates a sense of euphoria recall elements of Velvet Underground and Leonard Cohen. And yet deep in the flowing corpuscles is a melodic pop sensibility heard in bands like New Order. There is, finally, a touch of the legendary Rowland S Howard in the sardonic, passionate delivery.
But comparisons are a mere touchstone to create a sense of familiarity. ‘Burn Your Heart Out’ stands alone on its own feet as a brilliant and utterly compelling debut. The celestial shimmering sounds create a song of breathtaking beauty, shrouded in a mantle of melancholy and despair. For underneath the thrilling music, there lies a dark heart – the songs is about the journey of a would be suicide bomber. Fenton, singer/songwriter, explains:
I wanted to tell the story without judgement that would lead to a chorus we could share in and commune in.
The song in its most simple compositional core is an exploration of faith and violence, and the laundering of love to hate through some ideological jujitsu we can’t comprehend. I wrote the song thinking about young men in particular that constructed bombs to use as backpack filled rockets to a promised land. How I hated that carnage and the assumed twisting of the bombers innocence to perform such an act of allegiance that remains both astonishingly grotesque and impossible to process.
The melancholic thread that runs through the vocals and the ominous thunder of the music compounds sense of awe and wonder – the song with its repeated chorus takes on the power and passion of a faith healer or preacher exhorting faith in the delivery of a promised land. This is a stunning debut.
‘Burn Your Heart Out’ is unleashed into the world on Friday, 14 October 2022 through all the usual download/streaming sites.
The Gin Palace have also announced the release of their debut album ‘The Year of the Dog’ through DRW Entertainment in 2023. Be still my beating heart. The Marrickville Sound – a reinvigoration of the glory days of the eighties and nineties guitar orientated indie scene – is just getting better and better and growing exponentially each year. And yes, I’m going to continue to bang on about this phenomena ad infinitum.
You can catch the band on tour on the following dates:
October 13th – with The Charlatans @ The Triffid, Brisbane
October 14th – with The Charlatans @ The Croxton, Melbourne
October 15th – with Bluebottle Kiss, Deloris @ The Gasometer, Melbourne
October 21st – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
October 22nd – Springloaded festival with Grinspoon, You Am I, Regurgitator, Frenzal Rhomb, Magic Dirt, Tumbleweed, Screamfeeder & Caligula @ Stuart Park, Wollongong
December 17th – with The Clouds @ Factory Theatre, Sydney
Feature Photograph: Jo Forster