Palaye Royale have worked alongside Jadu to create an augmented reality experience and bring their music to life in your home. This is why it's such an incredible innovation.
The way we listen to and enjoy music has changed so rapidly over the past few years, that it can be tough to comprehend exactly how we got here. A decade ago the idea of having every single song available to you at the touch of a screen was some incredible pipedream, streaming is now just a part of our everyday life and a basic necessity if you want to hear the freshest things right now. Yet where do we go from here? And in these extraordinary times where live music is simply not a safe option and the connection between fan and band has never been more distant, what exactly can we do to regain some of that adrenaline, anticipation and awe that comes with consuming and falling in love with art? Well, Palaye Royale have taken a bold and brilliant step into the unknown with the help of augmented reality app Jadu and created something that’s not only innovative but also utterly intoxicating.
This isn’t the first time that Remington Leith, Sebastian Danzig and Emerson Barrett have joined forces with Jadu to bring their music to life. In February last year, the band teased a snippet of their brilliantly vital song ‘Lonely’ in the form of a hologram of vocalist Remington being able to pop up in your front room, dance to the track's delicate beats and beckon you to join him. Other artists who have entered into the app’s incredible world include DE’WAYNE, Poppy and Crown The Empire, but up until now nothing as immersive, ambitious or visually stunning as ‘Curse Of Calypso’ has been attempted. Instead of just a 15-second snippet of AR tailor-made to be posted on your Instagram Story, this 10-minute long, 360-degree performance/possession has been created to play out right in front of your eyes from all angles. Yes, really.
Centred around three specific songs from Palaye's brilliant latest album ‘The Bastards’, director Asad J. Malik manages to bring the dark atmosphere and depth of heaviness that bellows out of the record to life in the most immersively invigorating way. Every second of each track has a suitable visual to accompany it, and there are more than a few surprises to keep you on your toes throughout. Though before the show can begin, there are a few things you have to do.
First, you will be asked to place a gravestone on an open space before you and the same for a picture frame on a blank wall. Then before you know it you will be staring at Remington lying in that very grave you just set down as the bludgeoning riff that holds ‘Doom (Empty)’ in place echoes through your speakers and a psychedelic atmosphere quivers around you. As the song slowly unfurls itself, Remington's eyes open and he rises from his kingdom of dirt, contorting his arms and legs and screaming in anguish, possessed by a hidden force before suddenly disappearing altogether. Despite being a dark and deadly ordeal to watch, especially considering you are merely a spectator in this performance, the thing that sends the most shivers up the spine is that such a thing is taking place in your own house, the place you feel the safest.
Without a second to lose, we then see Emerson spray-painting part of a symbol where we placed that portrait a few moments ago, which we then must help finish with our own hands. Before you have the chance to admire your work, Sebastian bursts through your wall and delivers the opening guitar lick of ‘Nightmares’. If you were to then peer inside that very hole you’ll be met by Remington crawling on all fours, with gasmask firmly attached to his head, holding on to whatever ghastly figure had possessed him in the first act. As you recoil in horror the whole room is suddenly alight and the band performs the song’s deafening chorus from inside the flames.
And then darkness. A moment of calm is allowed before a piano appears before you, welcoming you to tinker three specific keys. When played correctly Sebastian then approaches you from the left, sits down and begins to play ‘Redeemer’. If you look towards your ceiling you’ll find yourself surrounded by floating candles, which are then joined by those very keys you just played, forced to float by possessed Remington screaming from atop the piano’s body.
And just like that, it is over. You’re back in your living room/kitchen/bedroom and safe from any sort of demons that may have been ready to leap out of your phone whilst you were hypnotised. Though despite normality sinking back in, it’s difficult now to still feel a touch shaken up at what you have just experienced, and that’s what makes ‘Curse Of Calypso’ such an extraordinary triumph.
Ever since their inception, Palaye Royale have endeavoured to push the boundaries of what form their art can take. From the endless streams of physical media that exist for The Royal Council to devour to the endless universe that exists at the core of every piece of music they commit to tape, there has always been something else for them to experiment with. Though taking that boundless imagination and presenting in such a beautiful and genuinely disturbing way via the medium of augmented reality is a step up. It's also another example of what an incredible and vital band they are within the scene right now. And at a time where we aren't able to be stood in the same rooms as each other, having your favourite band climb on top of your belongings and burst through your walls feels like a wonderfully personal experience without really being personal at all.
Though it also opens the doors in terms of possibilities for what the future holds. Could we see whole albums performed in front of our eyes, with the ability to stand side by side with our favourite bands? Will bands delve deeper into the concepts which they thought could only be created in audio form and smash down the walls between reality and fantasy in the most dreamy or debauched ways they wish? Whatever comes next, just know that Palaye Royale’s ‘Curse Of Calypso’ will always be the first of its kind and will serve as the benchmark for others to reach for years to come.
You can check out 'Curse of Calypso' for yourself by downloading the Jadu app right HERE