LP Walkthrough: Palace - Shoals
With the ocean as their backdrop, the London-based group walk us through the subconscious, dreams and existentialism in their latest release.
Photo by Daniel Harris
London outfit Palace release their latest 12-track album Shoals, a beautifully mesmerising collection of soundscapes that cover themes of the subconscious, dreams and existentialism in a thoughtful and delightfully melodic way. It’s been a while since we’ve covered the indie-rock group, which makes it all the more sweeter to give the latest release a real thorough walkthrough.
Rich with reverb drenched guitars, flourishes of synths, and waves of drums crashing at a shoreline of warm washy vocals, Shoals explore some of life’s greatest questions against a broader backdrop of wonder at the vastness and power of the ocean. On the release, frontman Leo Wyndham shares “‘Shoals’ is a record about confronting our own fears and anxieties. Through the pandemic we were confronted more than ever with ourselves with little distraction, suddenly seeing who we are in the rawest of forms. It held a mirror up to our flaws and imperfections and forced us to see the real 'us'.
The record symbolises how our minds can have beautiful yet dangerous depths, like the ocean, and how our fears and thoughts are like shoals of fish that move and shift constantly from place to place; chaotic, often untameable and unpredictable.”
Out now, explore the dark depths of Shoals as Palace walks us through the release track by track below.
Never Said It Was Easy
This song is about nostalgia and reflection through the perspective of time. Realising in a moment that we're older and still trying to heal from our experiences but also knowing there are more to come.
Shame On You
This song is about pride and learning to dismantle it, and to embrace and own our faults.
‘Fade’ is a song about the link between the body and the mind- how our mind’s response to the body’s state can turn into mental paranoia, leading to an unhealthy fixation on where we go when we meet our maker. It's an anthem to paranoia and the feeling like you could explode with the fear of what will become.
‘Gravity’ is about the realisation that in the end there’s nothing significant to our purpose on earth. We are simply here because of gravity - “we’re air and we’re water” – and knowing the relevance we feel in our lives is meaningless. It's about realising that the importance and value we load onto our lives are just moments in an everlasting Universe. And that ’s altogether comforting and terrifying.
Give Me The Rain
‘Give Me The Rain’ is about needing to experience mental pain to feel alive - the fact that we need the dark as well as the light. To grow, to breathe, to learn we need to have these experiences.
‘Friends Forever’ is about the deep soulful companionship we form with the person we love.
‘Killer Whale’ is a love song about a love as powerful and majestic as the ocean. A love that engulfs fear and washes the pain from us.
Lover (Don’t Let Me Down)
'Lover' is about the fear of abandonment and loss. Going through a mental state that rages with paranoia and self-destruction. It comes from a place of terrible blame and judgment of someone else, but in the end knowing it is "all in my head".
‘Sleeper’ is a song about drifting thoughts during insomnia in an existential paranoid moment realising nothing is real and relevant and we're nothing but a destructive, violent force.
‘Salt’ is about an unspoken and silent connection. Unexplainable forces. That two people are put here for one another.
Shoals is about the idea of our thoughts and fears moving like a Shoal of fish. Always changing direction, evolving, twisting, and turning. It's a dive into the subconscious mind and dream state. Our minds being very much like the sea - full of wonder but maze-like and complicated.
Where Sky Becomes Sea
'Where Sky Becomes Sea' is about what happens when we die. Do we see the people we love again? I believe you do - we'll meet them at the gates 'Where Sky Becomes Sea'. Love continues and the connection is never gone.
Palace's latest album Palace is out now via Fiction Records / Virgin Music Australia.