Caravan Palace beeped, crashed and (most crucially) swung onto the electro-swing scene in 2007, during the Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois. Then, in 2009 their eponymous debut album sold over 150,000 copies in the land of brie and baguettes making them a real break-out band. ‘Jolie Coquine’, probably their most well-known track, seeped onto the playlist of some snazzy jazzy underground clubs over here in the UK and before you could say, “Swing it, Thomas”, Caravan Palace has built a pan-european cross-section of cult followers that includes everyone from Charleston dancers to electro-ravers.
Their amalgamation of influences reads a bit like a messy scrap-book, but their overall sound is très chic: sneaky trip-hop influences lace a vintage swing-jazz ensemble, spiked with more than a heavy dash of electronica. It’s no wonder that the music they create is unlike anything we’ve heard before. If you locked Massive Attack, Gorillaz and Mildred Bailey in a recording studio, they’d be very confused, and we’re not sure if you’d be any closer to Caravan Palace’s unique sound or not!
If you need convincing about whether the album’s worth a listen, try ‘Beatophone’ from 2:18 – it’s like having your ear gremlin gently stroked. And if you let the next track ‘Sydney’ play, you can bliss-out as Sonia Fernandez Velasco’s hyper-sexy vocals stretch insouciantly over a gently-stroked crash cymbal and a lightly-strummed guitar. The stand-out track is easily ‘Panic’ – a suped-up xylophone twangs cheekily over the driving electro beat – we defy you to listen without toe-tapping.
The new album is much more hard-hitting than the first and though we’re always on the hunt for fresh sounds, it could be said that this album drifts dangerously close to try-hard, but then if you’ve got it, flaunt it, right? We just hope Caravan Palace don’t forget their roots.
Panic is out TODAY (19th November) through Café de la Danse, and you can catch Caravan Palace on tour on the following dates. For tickets, head [here]
21 November—LONDON, KOKO
22 November—BRIGHTON, CONCORDE 2
23 November—BRISTOL, TRINITY HALL
24 November—NORWICH, OPEN VENUE
26 November—BATH, KOMEDIA
24 January—GLASGOW, 02 ABC
Words by Adele Aitchison.
We particularly love the spotty dog and knock-knees featured in this ‘Dramophone’ video!