Part Paladin is set to rise in the music world with his second release, “Koedal,” out now on all streaming platforms. The project, curated by Sydney-based instrumentalist and producer, Dux Newton, moves between the spaces of post-metal, modern progressive metal, and alternative rock. Forged in lockdown 2020 as a bedroom recording project, Part Paladin released his first single “The Rise and the Fall” in January 2021. His sound is filled with hard-hitting rhythms, and melodic metal characteristics.
For “Koedal” in particular, the vocals are ridden with infectious harmonies and a hook-laced melody. The track shadows the capabilities of pop, all while sticking true to the rock break-downs and elements that are easy to listen to on repeat. A marked sonic step-up from the first, it features guest appearances on drums and cello, improved production and tackles personal themes of identity, heritage, and cultural dynamics.
Stream the new single now, available on all listening platforms; and keep reading below for an exclusive interview from the face behind this project!
Where are you located? What is your favorite part of living where you’re at right now?
I’m from Sydney, Australia, where I’ve lived most of my life. For me it’s the weather, the coastline, and the multiculturalism. Neighbouring suburbs can have vastly different aesthetics and feels which creates interesting dynamics, the Asian food is amazing, and nothing beats a gritty old Sydney pub.
When did you decide to pick up music? Tell us about your origin story as an artist.
Watching a teacher play the guitar when I was about 10, I was blown away by the sounds it made and knew I wanted to create them too. I began learning a lot of folk and old rock songs, and carried on in to high school where I jammed with friends and played in bad cover bands. I played every day and started to take it more seriously in my late teens with a band I was in at the time. I loved discovering the writing process, and wrote a lot of songs. I didn’t try my hand at singing until about 20 though as I was way too nervous, but fell in love with it and loved the energy of singing to rock & metal. That band disbanded, and I was musically dormant for many years. Part Paladin started as an outlet to reinvigorate my creative output. It was forged as a bedroom recording project in lockdown 2020, but has morphed in to something that I want out in the world for people to hear and enjoy.
Who inspired you as a musician and what were the songs you practiced when you learned to play?
Two primary initial inspirations as a young kid. The teacher who taught me the basics of the guitar, and my step-dad who is an amazing world musician and engineer, who coached and encouraged me through not only music but the world of audio recording. Through my teens I learned every Tom Morello and John Frusciante riff there was, then moved into heavier more experimental music. I fell in love with Tool who remain my favourite band to this day, and loved learning and playing darker time signature riffs. Vocally I took a lot of inspiration from Maynard from Tool, and equally from Dallas Green of Alexisonfire.
Who or what is your biggest Muse in your craft lately?
I take a lot of inspiration from pop sensibilities, especially vocally, and I’m a sucker for big vocal layering and huge harmony lines. Vocal work and vocal engineering in modern pop like Billie Eilish and Adele is amazing, and whilst it is not my genre, I love exploring these practices when recording. I write all the drums for Part Paladin. I was never a drummer, and can’t play real drums very well, but really enjoy writing them and spending hours creating interesting drum grooves. I had an amazing Australian drummer (Pete Drummond) record live drums for Koedal, and loved seeing what he did with my original patterns.
How has the pandemic affected your creative process as a musician?
If anything it’s enhanced my creativity. The first country wide lockdown in Australia was a chance for me to dust of my gear and reignite my creative engine. I primarily write and record alone so with not much else to do, I felt I had no excuse to not pick up the guitar and begin writing again.
How do you think your music has grown or changed over the last couple of years?
My older writing style was much more complex and often indulgent, and I worked with a lot of time signatures and long drawn out progressions. These days I think I’ve matured as a writer, and enjoy still creating complexity but within a much more straight forward structure, and using energy and feeling as opposed to obvious technicality
What are some themes that arose in the writing and creation process of your single?
Koedal thematically is about a disconnect with part of my identity. I come from an Indigenous Australian background, but grew up away from and somewhat isolated from that part of my heritage. The lyrics speak to my feeling not quite whole, and very foreign to that part of my culture, but a distinct want and need to discover it, reconnect with it and finally finding peace and a home within myself.
How will this release influence and inspire your projects in the future?
I see each song I write as a stepping stone towards fully discovering my writing style. Koedal is certainly the most mature song I’ve released creatively, but I want to extend on that and keep exploring sounds and styles with each new song I write and release. I’m proud of this work and can’t wait for people to hear it, but like all artists I want to better it and build on where I’ve left off for the next release.
What do you have planned next?
I’m writing my third single now, with plans to begin recording soon. Part Paladin is still emerging and finding its feet, so my plan is to send a few songs out in to the universe, build my identity and perhaps work on an EP release for 2023.