The Palace Theatre continues to move through its renovation process, preparing to fill a gap in St. Paul venues when it opens next year. Until then, the Palace Sessions continue (having been pioneered by Jeremy Messersmith and deM atlaS), and this time, Sarah White performs in the under-construction space.
Joined by Tasha Baron (keys), Ry Dill (bass), and Blayr Alexander (drums), White uses this new song to press harder than she ever has, digging out of darkness via funky bass and a tenacious hook.
According to conventional wisdom, synths are most at home in pop, the upbeat songs that plainly feel good (“U-turn,” by Tegan and Sara, or Chela’s “Romanticise”). But here, White plays their euphoria against deep, dark bass; they cast serrated shadows.
Catharsis comes with the chorus. “And I always dance alone/ Even through this crowded space,” White sings, and the song loosens up to groove around her voice. She writes via e-mail, “I am a full-time artist and mother, so I am always with people. In rooms with people. Moving through time with people. Very often in crowded spaces is where you are likely to see me singing, DJing, shooting pictures…but so often I’m completely in my head.” She knows how odd it sounds, but she says she’s “literally dancing alone with my thoughts, my body, my heart.”
Thus the song’s title, “Alone Together (Darksiders).” It’s destined to be the first single from White’s new project, a follow-up to this year’s Laughing at Ghosts EP. For now, it’d sound right at home on a playlist between 2008 Estelle and Kimbra’s “Sweet Relief.”