Big In 2013: Palma Violets

palmaviolets“Their sound is anthemic yet defiant, and possesses a harsh romantic quality that captures the punitive realities that only teenage life can inflict…”

Here’s the second in a series of artists we think will breakthrough over the next 12 months.

2. Palma Violets

In amongst the excitement, surprises and borderline slander of the musical prediction season, one of the most heavily debated questions was what 2013 will ultimately hold for “Guitar music”.  With an arguable decline in exciting bands breaking past blogosphere hype in the last year, it is fair to say what will happen over the next 12 months (especially with the resurgence of R&B, and dance music’s control of the charts) is somewhat up in the air, with many claiming alternative music is on it’s last, skinny jean clad legs.

Nevertheless, the indie faithful (Rough Trade, NME, Radio 1) seem to be forecasting an alternative hurricane for 2013, with Palma Violets in the eye of the storm. After being together for less than a year, they are already famed in certain areas of South East London for their raucous, last minute shows at their house/studio (sound familiar?).

With extensive nighttime radio play, championing from NME (who named their debut single “the best song of 2012”) and a casually chaotic performance on Later With… Jools Holland, you can see why many are pinning their hopes on the Lambeth four piece’s success.

At the peak of the hype they have been heralded as both “the new Libertines” and “the saviors of indie” (titles which collectively make the nation wince through their overuse). However, what makes Palma Violets different is they have actually struck gold. Their sound is anthemic yet defiant, and possesses a harsh romantic quality that captures the punitive realities that only teenage life can inflict.

“Best of Friends” is an emotionally charged, visceral debut track that encapsulates their boisterous signature sound whilst still presenting an air of unpredictability. It is an arguably basic song, with its yelling vocals and straightforward instrumentation, yet it’s transferable passion overpowers those gripes as you imagine yourself shouting along to the alternatively romantic chorus in the middle of a festival crowd for years to come. This raw approachability made it without a doubt the strongest debut single of last year, whetting the public’s appetite for “180”, their debut album which is due out in February.

Palma Violets’ sound isn’t new by anyone’s standards, and the homoerotically charged dispositions of front men Sam Fryer and Chilli Jesson are reminiscent of Pete n’ Carl, but there’s no denying their unpredictable, raucous ethos has been noticeably absent in guitar music over the last two years. It will be interesting to see how their musical philosophy plays with the public ten years after the garage rock revival, but like them or not you will definitely be hearing a lot of Palma Violets in 2013.


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