Brought to life by the UK’s scattered lockdowns, ‘Shoals’ embraces a far more existentially reflective side of Palace. The glassier tracks float freely through; ‘Gravity’ ironically spirals out into the atmosphere with pining guitar rings dancing under vocalist Leo Wyndham’s languishing passages, while album coda ‘Where Sky Becomes Sea’ brings us down neatly to solid ground. Cadence is established on ‘Fade’ and is not matched again in the project, but deftly exhibits the capability of Palace to mobilise their intensity into different shades. ‘Shoals’ suffuses a sense of somnambulism, where Leo’s longing cries fill expanses of sonically rich moments, splashed with reverb-heavy chord progressions and speculative melodies. A more pure and intense sound, less manufactured and acutely heartfelt.
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