Palais - Apolis EP
31 Mar 2017
Premiering via Red Bull Music, Apolis is a deep exploration of Palais' nuanced sonic universe where upbeat pop, house, hip hop and electronica meet in perfect harmony.
A DIY affair, with Palais aka Jeremy Smith recording the vocals, mixed the EP, and working on the artwork with his graphic designer friend, the production of the EP as a whole was a mobile process. Tracks developed in planes, hotel rooms and Palais' favourite place to work - the library.
All guest vocalists and inspiratitions from the EP hail from Palais' home town, Perth and on the whole, hark back to his WA roots. Palais cements his 'floor-filling' abilties, reminding listeners “where (he's) coming from – Perth, the bass capital”.
Palais hands-on approach, attention to detail, and love for his art style is a testament to the young producers talent. Floating effortlessly between danceable club jams, and evocative electronica with ease, Palais demonstrates a writing maturity that is rare to find, and hard to forget.
You can stream the EP in full below, accompanied by a detailed track-by-track commentary from Palais.
“Considerate and purposeful production” - HillyDilly
“Keeps an expert amount of a Pop influence in his tracks making it easy for anyone of any musical taste to sing along.” - Speaker TV
“…re-energised, re-focused, and ready to f*ck shit it up in 2017.” - Pilerats
I wanted to open the EP with something that really grabbed and shook the listener and said, "I'm here". I think it also shows where I'm coming from (Perth the bass capital). While I'm not particularly huge on that 'trap EDM' sound, I think it's not straight up trap - it's more a throwback to earlier Ta-ku stuff (huge Ta-ku fan here). It was also very much influenced by the shows I was playing at the time and my frustration with the fact my tunes weren't translating to the dance floor so well. It's been really nice testing it in non Palais DJ sets and hearing crowds make that "awwww" sound when the drop hits. Nice to know I can make that kind of stuff. The name just came from a list in my notes on my iPhone, whenever I see a word that I think looks cool I note it down to use later.
I have no problem admitting I love a nice stripped back pop tune, and I'd be totally happy writing pop tunes for other artists in the future. One of the guys I was sharing the warehouse studio with is in a duo with Phoebe (they're called Phocal), and I asked him to introduce me to her because I just love her voice. We recorded the vocals in like an hour because she had to go to WAAPA later that afternoon and we were stoked with how it turned out; the imperfections kind of differentiate it from over-polished pop music. It's just a fun track that I loved to painstakingly make. The hardest part was making it as simple, because I have a tendency to want to throw everything into a track, but I felt this one was much better stripped back, minimal and simple.
This track originally started off as a remix I did for Carmada's track 'On Fire'. Unfortunately it was a banger that didn't get accepted (I've still got that lying around somewhere on a hard drive and my local DJ friends in Perth play it around the place). I decided to strip the track of what wasn't mine and get another friend of mine Emma from Perth to sing on it. I tested it out in sets a few times, it was originally a bit slower and had jazzier 7th chords with a Rhodes piano. Once I realised I had a potential EP of music, I found it worked better sped up a little and replaced the Rhodes with a more synthesized sound to make it fit better alongside 'Instant Crush' and 'Chimera'.
Once I realised I had an EP worth of music I didn't want to be lazy and only do three tracks. So I sat down with the intent of writing this last track as quickly as I could. I wrote it in my bedroom in a time I was really starting to find myself again after the breakup. I wanted to write something huge and ethereal and optimistic. I'm obsessed with the snowboarding movie 'The Art Of Flight' and I approached writing this track as if I was writing for the opening scene to that movie (which is actually 'Outro' by M83, another artist I am a HUGE fan of).
This track for me is really the start of a new story, and I feel like is the most amount of me I have put into a track. It's really simple in it's composition, most of it was played and recorded live with minimal quantisation, a lot of the automation was recorded in by hand too instead of drawn in. The track was written and finished within a couple of days and I'm just so proud of it. I think it makes a great outro to the EP which I wasn't really expecting people to like as much as the singles but so far the few friends I have shown it to have really connected with Apolis the most which really shocks and amazes me