Au Palais were initially united but divided, a brother and sister separated across two continents. David was living in Tokyo; drawn in by neon lights and sub bass with a yearning to make Minimal Techno in the backstreets of Shibuya and Elise had immigrated from their hometown of Toronto to London.
After an all night karaoke session in the Tokyo’s red light district, Elise dreamt of forming a band with David, whose new minimal techno songs suddenly twisted and turned into moody, dark pop with the addition of Elise’s vocals. Over the course of the next year, across 4 continents the duo put the finishing touches to their debut Tender Mercy EP. Upon describing the EP, David says: “With other kinds of electronic music, especially dance music, the prevailing mood tends to be one of joy, release, ecstasy, that kind of thing. With minimal, the overriding feel of the music is one of tension, anxiety, and discomfort. It’s music for brooding on the dancefloor, though it never forgets about the dancefloor. I think Fever Ray, Austra, Zola Jesus, and Au Palais are all mining that same dark vein together.”
Whilst Elise admits to summoning the life forces of Patti Smith and Kate Bush for her stage presence: “My sensibilities are a little more pop than David’s. I’m a huge Kate Bush fan, but that probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. I love Patti Smith in the same way — I love her poetic sensibility, her image, everything about her really left an impression on me. I was re-reading Just Kids this summer and it put me in this great mindset towards art and music.