Palace's Latest Album Is a Self-Reflective Sonic Departure

Palace, an alternative quartet from London, plays a sold-out show at the Gothic Theatre on Monday, May 16, at 7 p.m.
Palace, an alternative quartet from London, plays a sold-out show at the Gothic Theatre on Monday, May 16, at 7 p.m. courtesy Shore Fire Media
Palace frontman Leo Wyndham says the band’s third full-length, Shoals, has the same vibe as that of its predecessors, but with a more experimental and imaginative approach.

“We wanted to push the boat out with it and explore a new sort of sonics and sounds and sort of take the shackles off in terms of how we can push Palace and the sound,” Wyndham says. “In the past, maybe it’s felt like we’ve played it a bit safe with our sound.”

Palace, an alternative quartet from London, plays a sold-out show at the Gothic Theatre on Monday, May 16, at 7 p.m.

The songs on Shoals came together during the lockdown, and thematically cover the confrontation someone might have with himself over characteristics he doesn’t like, Wyndham explains.

“I find in life, when there are things going on — things you are scared of about yourself or things you don’t like about yourself — there are so many distractions out there in the world, day to day, that we can take ourselves out of that," Wyndham says. "But when that was all taken away, it was like there was nowhere to sort of hide from that confrontation.”

Dealing with the pandemic has been a tricky affair, particularly watching businesses fail and people across the world struggle, Wyndham says.

“It’s certainly not something I ever thought I’d experience in my lifetime," he says. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it. It’s forced me to look at myself a bit more and be more self-reflective, and in that sense it’s been a positive thing.”

Wyndham struggled with long COVID for about eight months, and the disease inflamed his lungs for more than a year, making it difficult to sing and filling him with anxiety about what might happen to his voice.

“It was a bit before recording, so it was okay,” he says. “I worried for a while that this might generally affect my voice going forward.”

The band wasn’t able to play live for more than a year, and that pause in shows has made its ongoing U.S. tour – its second in the States – a reason to celebrate.

“The crowds are more hungry than ever to connect to the music,” Wyndham notes. “It seems like they really missed it. What we feel in terms of playing, we feel that from the crowds and what they are giving back. … Even when I’ve been in a crowd I thought that this is special.”

Wyndham says music has helped him through dark times in his life. He recently offered a list of specific albums that have done so to Far Out magazine that includes Nirvana, Daniel Johnston and Donny Hathaway. For him, music can be a distraction and help a person disconnect from unpleasant emotions. At the same time, if you play the right music, it’s a vehicle for expressing your feelings.

“Listening to music when someone is singing about what you’re feeling — whether it’s anger or sadness or whatever — can make you feel sort of heard and understood,” he explains. “That’s a very powerful thing. That’s what it’s always done for me.”

He adds that the late Jeff Buckley, whom he also included on the Far Out list, is an artist he has always connected with.

“What he sings about and the sort of pain and the romance of what he sings about is a big one that has resonated with me maybe more than any other singer,” he says. “Just the way he sings, just the way his emotion in his voice and his expression taps into my emotions.”

Wyndham says that Palace has been putting local bands on the bill as support during this tour. He says the band rejected the notion that you have to take a certain type of band as an opener on tour. Having a new band in each city has been a rewarding departure, and he’s started to fill his playlists with the new music from the likes of Darling Farm from Texas and Spring Silver from Maryland.

“It’s been really nice to let bands have a chance who are from the city we are playing in,” he says. “I only feel it’s right to have a band from each city play with us. It’s more their right than ours, in a way, to play those venues.”

Shoals is now available. Palace plays the Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, Monday, May 16, 7 p.m. Sold out. For more information, visit
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