Diving Rings, debut album from up and coming dream pop band, Night Palace, is the perfect foray into this emerging genre. Night Palace’s principal songwriter and vocalist, Avery Draut, began her latest venture after relocating to New York, where she blossomed creatively. Draut is no stranger to the scene, earning a degree in classical voice from University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music and channeling her training into new realms.

Released on April 1st, the attention to detail on this album must be discussed. Every track is topped off by layers of intriguing vocals and a broad range of instrumentals. With the accompaniment of Dillon McCabe, Zack Milster, and William Kissane, Diving Rings intertwines a synth pop sound with instruments often not included in the orchestration of an album of this caliber. However, the sweet, lush vocals interacting with these musicians ultimately create the overall encapsulation this album demands. 

The observation we all need to make is that this album would be just as successful relying only on Draut’s voice, a simple guitar, and driving drum beats. The exploration into different facets of music while incorporating new styles is Diving Rings claim to fame.

Our first encounter of Night Palace comes wrapped in a neat little box that is “Into the Wake, Mystified”. Once opened, it is met with intimate lyricism and vocals that explode into crescendoing winds and percussion. “Everything you do is golden” Draut pleads.

Draut has also established herself as a widely versatile artist. There’s a style or message on this album for the majority of the population. “Fig Dream” begins with haunting bells overshown by Draut’s dreamy vocals. Then we receive the wind instruments. Longing is evident, but we’re unsure of what for. Three tracks later, “Fig Dream 2” opens with another round of melancholic bells that stretches for a minute and some change.

This doesn’t act as our only transitional song. “Sleeptalk Interlude” adventures into a range of synths only to be accompanied by simple vocals. “Everything else is fool’s gold” Draut emphasizes.“In the Hall Interlude” sounds as though it was recorded during a full orchestral concert accompanied by haunting and ghastly whoops that resemble sirens in the dead of night. Straight into “Nightshade”. Draut really plays into her range of sounds and styles on this track. With quick shifts from brooding, quieted vocals layered over a classic guitar, we’re then jolted back by synth beats, what sounds similar to a lyre, and staticy anecdotes underneath the true message of lonesomeness through naturalistic imagery.

My personal favorite from the album has to be “Jessica Mystic”. This song was written about a friend of Draut’s who found themselves encompassed in the online world of psychics and all things mystic. This is not only portrayed through her lyrics, but a definitive difference between this song and others on the album – an entrancing saxophone solo. 

In a previous interview, Draut expressed the importance of relationships within her art. The ingenuity and creativity that goes into creating an album like this draws a lot of inspiration from those close to Draut and their experiences as well as hers, and it is extremely prevalent. I don’t think it’s possible to make something like this without putting every ounce of you and your essence into it, and for that reason I plan to stay up to date with Night Palace.

Photo Credits from: https://flagpole.com/topstory/2022/04/06/the-exhilarating-magic-of-night-palace-fall-into-the-lush-dreamscapes-of-diving-rings/