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The Palace Garden

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Album Review

After the buzz surrounding their debut EP, Surf Noir, Beat Connection grew from a duo to a quintet, adding a full-time rhythm section and longtime guest vocalist Tom Eddy to the core duo of producers/multi-instrumentalists Reed Juenger and Jordan Koplowitz. The Palace Garden is their first work as a truly full-fledged band, and it finds them pulling together all the disparate directions they explored on Surf Noir into pretty synth-rock that is just danceable enough to keep heads nodding and toes tapping. Though they may take their name from an LCD Soundsystem song, Beat Connection don't offer much in the way of witty, sometimes world-weary insights à la James Murphy; instead, much of The Palace Garden sounds like party music for a swanky but unabashedly romantic affair overflowing with champagne. "The Palace Garden, 4 A.M." and "Saola" sparkle like cut-crystal goblets, full of fizzy synths and bright melodies that evoke kindred spirits such as Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Friendly Fires, and Sun Airway. Interestingly, given how many tracks on Surf Noir were instrumentals, this album's vocal-less interludes don't add much; "The Foreign Embassy" and "Trap House" drift by on pretty textures, but don't exactly engage the listener. However, they do function well enough as breathers between The Palace Garden's many supersaturated pop songs, which is clearly where Beat Connection put most of their energy. Previous single "Think/Feel," which features Chelsey Scheffe on vocals, remains a highlight and one of the more dance-oriented songs of The Palace Garden era; elsewhere, Juenger and Koplowitz make the most of Eddy's big, earnest voice with songs that nod to Beat Connection's electronic roots and also sound surprisingly radio-friendly. The album's seven-minute closing track, "En Route," boasts a glossy, '80s-loving sound that would do Paul Simon or Sting proud; "Sometimes Wonder" edges toward adult alternative pop (and also shows where Beat Connection's guitar has been hiding since Surf Noir); and the steel drum-like tones and lilting Afro-beat melody of "Further Out" hint at the global influences the band has had since the beginning. Less a dynamic statement of purpose and more a culmination of Beat Connection's early days, The Palace Garden is a sleek debut that pays homage to their influences and shows off their mature style.

Customer Reviews

Summer Soundtrack

Palace Garden 4am is a a good place to be. Stoked to see them live.

Beachy dance tunes

These guys are awesome, saw them live and they will make you dance. Put on a very good show... check them out

My summer jam

Great music. Good lookin dudes. All I want to do is dance or drive in the sun. I love it. When can I see them in person.


Formed: 2008 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Taking their name from an LCD Soundsystem song and crafting a fusion of indie pop and electronic music that falls somewhere between the Drums and Daft Punk, Beat Connection began as the project of University of Washington students Reed Juenger and Jordan Koplowitz. The pair met as freshmen in 2008 and soon began DJ'ing and writing songs together in GarageBand. In July 2010, they self-released their debut EP, Surf Noir, which featured vocals from folky singer/songwriter Tom Eddy on the tracks "Silver...
Full Bio
The Palace Garden, Beat Connection
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Customer Ratings