Premiere: Palaye Royale “Broken”

I have always been a firm believer in the notion that art finds you when you’re ready to receive it. This is why, when I first fell in love with Palaye Royale in February 2022, I didn’t question the fact that I had discovered the band several years later than I originally should have. Palaye Royale took the stage as an opening act for Yungblud during their show in Boston, and something inside me bloomed as soon as they played their first notes to the packed audience. Lead singer Remington Leith came on stage last, appearing in a burst of delicate energy, adorned with a chained harness, elbow-length gloves, and dress pants. The second he showed up, I immediately turned to my best friend and squeezed her arm. She squeezed back. We knew we were about to witness something special.

That feeling of witnessing something special is central to Palaye Royale’s fanbase. Though I haven’t been part of this dedicated group of fans for very long, I’ve done my research. The fervor with which they consume everything Palaye Royale does—from drummer Emerson Barrett’s beautiful drawings, to lead guitarist Sebastian Danzig’s dedicated social media posts, to Remington Leith’s honest commentary about his feelings—is a sight to behold. In a world where stan culture can often be equated with toxicity, Palaye Royale’s fanbase proves that there are still pockets of positivity amidst the negative waves that often wash over our daily lives. Not only do the fans lift each other up, but they’re lifted up by the band as well. Sometimes quite literally. When I saw Palaye Royale at the House of Blues, Remington stopped the show at one point to ensure that a fan was safely removed from the pit area after witnessing their distress from the stage. The whole crowd fell silent as he called on security guards to help—he commanded the moment with a sense of dedicated compassion that I hadn’t really witnessed at a live event before.

In the months that have followed, I’ve consumed every song, every music video, every interview, and social media post that Palaye Royale has created within the last several years. They’ll easily clock in as my most played artist on Spotify for 2022, but more than that, they’ve cemented their place in my heart, deep down in the cracked crevasses that have yearned for recognition and fulfilment on a profound level. Like many others, I’ve faced personal difficulties during the last two years. To say that I felt broken would be an accurate representation of what was going on, which is why I felt that my discovery of Palaye Royale was serendipitously timed.

The band’s brand new single, “Broken,” is being released worldwide today. Some areas of the globe, such as Australia and New Zealand, have already been playing the song for several hours. When it was first sent to me by their publicist, Claire Coulton, a few days ago, I couldn’t believe my luck. I had the song pre-saved to my Spotify account since Sebastian announced the release date on Twitter, and the second I received the link from Claire, I played the song several times over during the day. I’ve listened to it almost nonstop since then, diving into the world of Palaye Royale’s brokenness in a way that can only be truly described as cathartic.

The instrumentals perfectly compliment Remington’s ethereal, pained voice as he sings through deeply personal lyrics. “But you say I’m not worth it to you, so why are you worth it to me? Broken, broken, broken, you know that I’ve always been.” You know that I’ve always been is the lyric that I keep finding myself coming back to—I recognize that sensation of feeling like you’ve always been broken, even in your best moments. To feel unwhole, incomplete, shattered in some small but irrevocable way. This is the type of song that will save lives, if only because it proves that even in your darkest moment, you’re not alone. Someone, somewhere out there in the ether, knows exactly how you feel even if they don’t know exactly what you’re going through. 

This is the underlying heartbeat of everything that Palaye Royale does: To prove to their fans that they’re never alone. They are seen. They are heard. They are understood. “Broken” feels like it’s coming out on the precipice of something even bigger for the band, whose highly-anticipated album “Fever Dream” should be set for release sometime this year (we all hope, anyway). Listening to “Broken” calls forth that feeling of witnessing something special, perhaps because this song is something entirely, uniquely its own. “Broken, you know that I’ve always been,” seems, at first glance, like a sentiment filled with sorrow. It’s only once you hit replay that you realize that the declaration is one of acceptance—it is also a plea for better things, for easier days, for fulfillment in the face of the inevitable, which is that we will all always be broken. 

The hope here is that we can perhaps adopt the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where gold is used to meld broken pieces of pottery back together, transforming the pottery from fragmented shards into something more beautiful, something that shows the cracks and the scars of the pain while highlighting the beauty of what remains. Highlighting the beauty of what remains seems like a good message to take away from Palaye Royale’s soaring new single “Broken,” which is sure to become one of your most played songs in 2022.

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