After a nine year hiatus Ice Palace is back with their third full length How I Came to Win the War. This patiently crafted songbook of lush minimalism marks a stark sonic and thematic departure from Ice Palace’s frenetic rock past.
Ice Palace’s slower numbers have a literate dreaminess….textured, dense, yet articulate guitars; casual, almost conversational singing; and interesting rhythmic/tonal shifts…Definitely a band to watch. – The Village Voice
In 2009, Ice Palace played nearly one hundred shows. The Minneapolis band lead by Adam Sorensen surged with snowballing momentum through three US tours supporting bands such as Cloud Cult, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, and Say Hi. They recorded a second Daytrotter session and attracted an ever expanding local fan base opening for nationally renowned artists such as Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Wheat, Maps and Atlases, and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Their second album, Wonder Subtly Crushing Us, was released on Cloud Cult’s Earthology label and received praise across the blogosphere by RCRD LBL, Magnet Magazine, Three Imaginary Girls, City Pages, and many others.
On the heels of this whirlwind year Sorensen abruptly detoured from the road he’d been traveling with Ice Palace. He uprooted his family to live on the edge of a mile high national forest in Prescott Arizona, two miles from their mailbox, with chickens, a windmill pumping their water and a view that went forever. After the continual flurry of line-up changes and hard traveling, the silence of the Arizona high desert felt like heaven.
A short hiatus unfolded into a handful of cloistered years as Sorensen continued to write songs in relative isolation. Though he never stopped making music, the fathomless quiet of the desert had penetrated him, and he wanted his music to reflect a new maturity and peace.
Returning to Minneapolis after six years of seclusion, Sorensen contacted Brian Tighe (The Starfolk, The Owls, The Hang Ups) whose production and arrangement work he deeply admired. After hearing Sorensen’s demos, Tighe agreed to produce Ice Palace’s long awaited third album, and soon Allison LaBonne (The Owls, The Starfolk) was enlisted for vocals, piano and percussion. The collaboration between the three brimmed with an uncanny fluidity, and they patiently set about sculpting the album’s sonic backdrops which ebb and flow between a minimalism and a lushness supportive of Sorensen’s engaging lyrics and penetrating voice.