Much like modern country, blues singers often struggle to define their differentiated identity. London’s Palace is a rare exception, adding a personality to the blues through aimless, passive-aggressive anger and confusion. Characteristically resembling the lovechild of artists like Jeff Buckley and The Maccabees, Palace loads their very basic, slow song construction with incredibly intricate instrumental snippets and heavily sullen lyrics. Amidst a demanding audience however, Palace wins by keeping their defining features modestly hidden.
“Veins” showcases Palace’s apathetically morose skill set by digging deep into a story that is as optimistic as it is abysmal. The song tells a tale of patience within a relationship that was promising at first but has long since vaporized. “Veins'” lead character convinces himself that his former lover has an enchanting soul worthwhile of pursuance. His veins fill with the thrill of a love’s pursuit, but soon enough that thrill becomes blindingly overzealous lust. When her ambitions push the lead character far enough away to express palpable neglect, he resorts to hard drug use – this time filling his veins with a needle’s cold relief to numb the pain of empty failure. As depressing as that story becomes, Palace’s magic lies within their ability to conceal their dispiriting message within nonviolent, subtle, and calm overtones. In many of their songs, they perform as if to tell a cautionary tale just after the dust of feral anger settles. The listeners’ inability to immediately recognize the underlying misery keeps Palace’s bluesy style fresh and easier to listen to in an unassuming environment.