Electric Palace has today released their new single titled ‘Better Days’. Given the current state of things being the way they are, consider this a darkly optimistic construction in musical form with that certain pessimistic snark held in hand with that modern tinge of hope. Will the world be permanently different after this is over? Only time can tell. But what the now can tell is Electric Palace made one helluva catchy song.
Almost a ‘Gen-X through Z’ style anthem, citing ‘We’re gonna see better days together…’ may seem out of touch, at the moment, but patience can be a virtue had by all and fooled by none. Until then, let the creative adaptations of others be the inspiration for personal growth. And listen to this.
This was written sometime in summer of 2020. As the pandemic settled in to become a life changer for everyone. The mood at the time I was feeling was a combination of bleakness but hope that the sun and weather was bringing.
Nobody can truly say when all of this will be in the rear view mirror for society, but almost as a self help affirmation, when u was playing with the chords, out came “”Gonna see Better Days. Soon they’ll all be falling into place.”
But I couldn’t fool myself with this over the top cheerleading so the lyric that followed “gotta keep telling ourselves in the darkness of the night, when the mind goes wandering” pretty well sums up the internal back and forth, the uncertainty, being felt from the lockdowns and the shutdowns and the death counts on a daily or shall I say hour to hour basis. That continues to this day.
And as if the Covid era wasn’t enough, the amount of upheaval that’s been pitting warring mindsets and value systems against each other, has made this a complexity somewhat like 1968. One thing after another.
Different as far as the details go, but similar in its relentlessness and severity.
“And they’re all out pointing fingers. At the climate deniers, political liars, words that are lighting off cultural fires. The time is right now we gotta take it higher.” Or we won’t. And the flame throwing will continue. Even after the virus slows down.
What struck me through the anger and frustration of the pandemic and the worldwide unrest was that unlike any recent world hardships and disasters we or our parents lived through, none of them saw the whole world all going through it together as the victim.
“But we never had to all do it under the same red sky.”
Humanity is learning, adapting and adjusting on the fly. The ingenuity from restaurants and other businesses here in New York City has been incredible and inspiring to witness. The opportunity for collective unity and empathy on this planet is right in front of us too.
Better days. The potential for them is there. Even if today we are in such a hard situation and can’t see through that level of darkness.
Only months after singer/guitarist TJ Rosenthal showed longtime friend and drummer Joe Zdaa a collection of songs he’d written, the duo released their debut EP as Monk Tamony in the summer of 2016. Honing in on a swaggering, blues-inflected rock sound that fit neither of the downtown bands they were in at the time, their debut single “Leaders” was voted Q Magazine’s “Track of the Day,” kicking off a wave of hype out of what was once just a friend helping a friend.
Around when they changed names to Electric Palace, Zdaa also traded Houston Street for Venice Beach. Nevertheless, the duo forged ahead with touring nationwide, making repeat stops at SXSW before supporting chart-topping blues punk act Highly Suspect as the pandemic hit. The duo’s forthcoming LP, Pretend, recontextualizes their dual-coastal sound alongside the events of 2020, teaming up with prolific NYC producer Aaron Bastinelli (The Hold Steady, Matt and Kim, The Roots) and Zdaa’s LA neighbor Sune Wagner of The Raveonettes along the way.
Lead single “Better Days” serves as a case in point for the sound and message on Pretend, aiming to be a glimmer of hope amidst the current global backdrop without dissolving into blind, wishful thinking.
“[Days] was written sometime in summer of 2020 as the pandemic settled in to become a life changer for everyone,” the band elaborates on the single. “The mood I was feeling at the time was a combination of bleakness, but hope with the sun and weather. Nobody can truly say when all of this will be in the rear view mirror, but almost as a self-help affirmation when I was playing with the chords, out came the lyric, ‘gonna see better days / soon they’ll all be falling into place.”
Humanity is all about learning, adapting and adjusting on the fly, the band believes, and they credit the ingenuity from restaurants and other businesses surviving in New York City as album inspiration. Pretend, as a result, aims to be a reminder that the opportunity for collective unity and empathy on this planet is right in front of us, even if our friends and allies are across the country.