Night Palace is a shocking alchemy: aching nostalgia meets frothy anticipation of what’s beyond the garden wall. You find yourself picturing it: a moonlit-gilded diorama of Avery Draut’s dreams and memories.
Growing up, Draut would wake to her dad blasting Court and Spark or Nilsson Schmilsson as he danced around the living room, riling the dogs. At school in Athens, Georgia she studied visual art and theatre before focusing on classical voice. Burned out after five years of fruitful but intensive opera performance, she found a Magic Genie™ organ at the thrift store and sat down, for the first time, to write songs of her own.
Draut’s early explorations into the local music scene held a magic specific to the artistic incubator of Athens: she duetted on Jackson 5 songs with of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes at her best friend’s wedding, and opened for Kishi Bashi, singing Hebrew folks songs in a chamber ensemble.
In 2016, Draut moved to New York and got a job working as a production assistant at The Met Opera, scribbling timecodes in opera scores. Feeling the familiar inspiration from art forms cooperating, she’d whisper melodies into her phone in the dark of the substage between acts. Draut maintained her connection to Athens, watering roots in two artistic ecosystems. Her songs would fall into place on long solo drives down the east coast in her grandma’s old Buick.
Night Palace’s songs might be found on a playlist among Broadcast, Alvvays, Vashti Bunyan, and Mort Garson’s Plantasia.