Night Palace frontwoman Avery Draut, would often wake up to her dad blasting Court and Spark or Nilsson Schmilsson from the living room speakers, as he danced around the room, riling the dogs. At school in Athens, Georgia, she studied visual art and theatre before concentrating on classical voice and opera. Burned out after five years of fruitful but intensive classical performance, she found a Magic Genie™ electric organ at the thrift store down the street from her house – after years of music-making, she sat down for the first time to write songs of her own.
Draut played her new music with various friends for a year or so, before approaching guitarist Dillon McCabe, bassist Zack Milster and drummer William Kissane. Kissane’s parents offered his childhood attic bedroom as rehearsal space, and the four spent a Georgia summer in the attic conjuring their live sound. Draut’s early explorations into the local music scene contained a magic specific to the artistic incubator of Athens: at her best friend’s wedding she duetted with of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes on Jackson 5 songs; opening for Kishi Bashi, she sang Hebrew folk pieces in a friend’s chamber ensemble; and she set out on tour singing backups in Eric Bachmann’s band (Archers of Loaf, Crooked Fingers).
In 2016, in the midst of recording Night Palace’s debut record, Draut moved to New York City, where truly anything can happen: one day Draut replied to Kadhja Bonet’s instagram story, in which Bonet was seeking a summer sublet in New York, and she ended up joining Bonet in her band for a sold out show at National Sawdust a few months later. New York opened up new avenues of expression for Draut; she began composing music for experimental theatre and performing with a new palette of collaborators. She got a job working as a production assistant at The Metropolitan Opera, translating and marking time codes in opera scores. She welcomed the familiar inspiration of art forms in cooperation around her at the opera, and she would whisper new melodies into her phone in the dark of the substage between acts.
Draut maintained her connection to Athens over the years, watering roots in two special ecosystems. She continued to rewrite and rearrange her songs. Often the pieces would fall into place in voice memos on her long solo drives down the East coast in her grandma’s Buick, returning from New York to Athens to record the layers of Diving Rings. Recorded both in the studio and a recital hall, engineer-producer Drew Vandenberg (Faye Webster, of Montreal) seamlessly weaves Draut’s orchestral swells with the core of her band: the humming Magic Genie organ, shimmering guitar, graceful basslines, and pendulum-like rhythm. Andy LeMaster (Better Oblivion Community Center, Azure Ray) lent additional engineering and a fresh set of ears.
Park The Van
Into The Wake, Mystified
Enjoy The Moon!
In The Hall Interlude
Fig Dream 2
Order Diving Rings by Night Palace HERE