Photo: Francesco Quadrelli
Italian-born, London-based alternative pop duo Palmaria have just unveiled their five-track EP, Crystallize. A stunning collection of songs which touch on everything from the devastating effects of climate change and ocean pollution to the importance of self-empowerment and finding one’s destiny. Members Giulia and Francesco have perfectly concocted a release which tantalizes all senses. Like a sonic hug, this EP truly envelops you from head to toe for its entire 19-minute-and-15 second runtime.
Opening with the irresistible, shimmering "Saudade," the simple instrumentation leaves space for singer Guilia's echoing vocals. Soft and subtle, the track encompasses you, reflecting its theme of nostalgia. With fragments of their native language threaded through their lyrics, the duo take inspiration from their surroundings to create something which feels comfortably familiar yet strangely alien.
"Ocean" transports you to the world beneath the water. Inspired by their hometown's local legend, it tells the tale of Colapesce, a man who sacrifices his life on earth to protect his land. This story perfectly captures the issues we are facing today, reminding us that without an ocean, there is no life. The duo confides, "We wanted to give voice to our frustration; it's been hurtful to see what is happening, especially growing up in a town almost surrounded by the sea. The ocean has always been such an important element in our lives, inspiring and healing us everytime we were in need, so it's now our turn, we have to protect it." Through swirling synths and flowing melodies, Palmaria mirrors the ocean, emphasizing its innate beauty.
Title track "Crystallize" is the duo's message of self-empowerment. Encouraging listeners to find their freedom and what makes them happy in life, taking inspiration from the Netflix series Unorthodox. Guilia chants, "And you unraveled my mind and pulled the trigger, I was lost inside now I touch the ceiling, took me a while, reboot of feelings, no looking back now." Bringing closure to the EP is "Lanes." Ending on a high, the oscillating synths and colorful, dainty melodies make you feel as if you're in the depths of a jungle, surrounded by singing birds.
Overall, Palmaria have created a hypnotic compilation of poetic odes with Crystallize. The introspective EP allows you to wander into undiscovered areas, only to leave the other end with a newfound appreciation for our life on this planet.
Listen to Crystallize below: