I am Brett J Kent, the bass player from local (to South Carolina) band Shallow Palace. SceneSC was kind enough to let us submit a guest post to their website. As big supporters of SceneSC and of the local music scene, we were pleased to be considered for this task.
As with everything, time elapsing brings change and evolution. This definitely happened with us. Everyone in Shallow Palace turned 25 this year and grew as people and musicians. This was a year for finding and growing our sound. We spent the majority of our time practicing and writing new songs that focused on a dynamic rock sound with the addition of pianos and organs. We worked on songs that broke free of normal song structures and layered them with vocal harmonies, varied instrumentations, and more ambitious parts. The end product resembling something of a mix between early 70’s psychedelic rock and 90’s grunge rock (if you didn’t know).
We played a good number of shows over the year all over South Carolina, Georgia, and beyond. We played a show at Bey’s with The Grand Prize Winners from Last Year that ended with their entire band and two-fifths of Shallow Palace in jail. Saint Patrick’s Day in 5 Points and Free Times’ Music Crawl were both an honor to be a part of. We played the Tin Roof in Charleston, which is easily my favorite venue south of New Brookland Tavern. This year alone we shared the stage with more great bands than I can mention but a few highlights are Junior Astronomers, Whiskey Tango Revue, Mason Jar Menagerie, Death Becomes Even The Maiden, Ryan Sheffield, Sleepy Eye Giant, and The Get Wets to name just a few.
We also did our first analog recordings. The first entitled Moondog and The Chocolatier, which was a 3-song Live EP recorded on a vintage 8-track reel to reel at the home of Nick Brown with Max Price in Greenville, SC in May of 2011. The EP was available as a download code on the wrapper of a Shallow Palace chocolate bar that was homemade by our singer Greg Slattery. To promote the chocolate/music, we did a five-day mini-tour with our great friends Ryan Sheffield and Sleepy Eye Giant. Everyone agreed that it was the most delicious part of the year.
The tour went so well, we proposed a plan to Sleepy Eye Giant to do a split record and a major tour. They agreed, and as a group we decided that to fund this endeavor we should do a Kickstarter campaign. So, we set the Kickstarter up and did our best to promote it to our friends, families, and fans. The end result was incredible. In just a few weeks we managed to raise over $3,000. This was enough to fund the recording and pressing of our record!
Which brings us to Mamushka. Released in early October, our split 12” vinyl record was recorded to tape at the Jam Room by Zac Thomas and mastered at Studio B by Dave Harris. One side features four amazing tracks by my favorite South Carolina band, Sleepy Eye Giant, and the other side has four of our biggest, best tracks. We followed the release with a tour up the east coast hitting almost every major city from D.C. to Boston. We even played a CMJ showcase in New York City that highlighted some of the best acts from the Southeast area. It was an honor to be in the world’s greatest city with some of the best bands from our area.
2011 was a very exciting year, not just for Shallow Palace, but also for the Columbia music scene. Some highlights for me were:
Toro Y Moi and Washed Out solidifying their places as international acts and it was a joy to see Sandlappers (if you are from SC, you know what that means) in the top ten on the last page of Rolling Stone magazine.
Say Brother rose from a new band made up of members from other bands to the headlining spot at the Music Crawl and selling out New Brookland Tavern. It is great to see a straight-up rock band getting attention in a scene that is a little too digital.
All Get Out’s debut album is amazing. I’m glad they finally have something to show for all the miles and hard work they’ve put in.
Josh Roberts and The Hinges at the 5 Points Pub was one of the best local shows I saw. Their new stuff is so good. I cannot wait for the new record from them.
Mason Jar Menagerie from Fountain Inn, SC have been our brothers outside of the music scene for years and its good to see/hear them kickin’ ass everywhere they go.
2011 was a good year for everyone. Hearing our music on vinyl was the highlight, but everything was great. We are a lucky band with great friends and fans. We look forward to 2012 and everything it will bring.
See Shallow Palace with All Get Out and All-New Badges at New Brookland Tavern on December 22nd.