Storm The Palace “She Knows” – stylish murder ballad ahoy

Photo: Lucía Balsa-Prados

You may already be thinking that Storm The Palace are probably not a hardcore Americana band, and they probably lean towards the folkier end of the spectrum of coverage for your favourite music site.  And you’d be right.   Actually they are even more than that…with an early music vibe added into a knowing cabaret sensibility all given a topping of prog-folk.  Imagine Amanda Palmer’s old band The Dresden Dolls crossed with Jethro Tull and you’re sort of nudging in the right direction.

This song is from the latest, and third, album from the band ‘La Bête Blanche‘.  It tells tales of female murderers, with each verse moving on to a less sympathetic historical character.  Explains vocalist Sophie Dodds: “They are ordered from most to least sympathetic – although this wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. A friend of ours, Sarah Worley-Hill, has a podcast about controversial women from history, called Demons & Dames. The first two stories in this song (Violette Nozière and Madeleine Smith) were episodes on the podcast. The second two (Lizzie Borden and Ottilie Klimek) were entries on Sarah’s spreadsheet of notorious women.

Storm the Palace are a five piece based in Edinburgh but hailing from the US, Scotland and Spain – their sound reflects their varied backgrounds, musical styles and tastes, with members covering punk, indie-rock, traditional folk and more in previous bands, with fantasy films having played a major part in influencing the sound.  Speaking more generally of the new album Sophie Dodds adds “I’ve always been a sucker for a bit of high fantasy – dragons, princesses, enchanted castles, evil sorceresses, that kind of thing.  As a kid I devoured all this stuff, from illustrated ladybird books of classic fairytales to the novels of Ursula Le Guin. In other words, from the cheesy to the sublime. I lived much of my childhood life in an ongoing fantasy narrative that I devised with friends, pretending we were epic heroes living out our great destinies in magical landscapes, whilst playing along the banks of the Water of Leith.

Sounds like a role-player to us or, given the above photograph, maybe a bunch of LARPers.


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About Jonathan Aird 2043 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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