Palace – Ultrasound
Palace – Ultrasound

Palace – Ultrasound

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05/04/24


While writing the first batch of songs for the album, frontman Leo Wyndham’s partner suffered a late miscarriage, which left the band’s chief song-writer bereft and adrift. Ultrasound naturally became an open diary of their year-long struggle from devastation to deliverance. “It was incredibly hard to comprehend what had happened, how to deal with it and how to move forward,” Leo says. “The album is the journey of that absolutely earth-shattering experience - starting with a loss, then a period of processing, and then finally acceptance, release and growth. And being in awe of women within that. Their dignity, strength and courage in how they can deal with these things that feel beyond a man.


Album opener ‘When Everything Was Lost’, is chilling ozone rock with a hint of Bon Iver, capturing what Leo calls “that initial bombshell feeling”. From there, Ultrasound picks its way through the wreckage, seeking light, with the languid and lustrous pop-gaze trio of ‘Bleach’, ‘Nightmares & Ice Cream’ and ‘Rabid Dog’. The hallucinogenic ‘Nightmares…’ was based on a dream Leo had about seeing his partner in the afterlife: “It was a very beautiful abstract thing that we were together and there was this total acceptance of what had happened and it was euphoric,” he says.

 

At the album’s core sit three songs of support and consolidation. ‘Make You Proud’ is about wanting to be the best version of yourself out of love for another. There’s the soulful ‘Inside My Chest’, and ‘Love Is A Precious Thing’, the album’s melodic centrepiece.

The final stretch signifies a more reflective period. ‘Say The Words’ acknowledges the societal pressures on women to raise families and their resilience in the struggles of motherhood, ‘How Far We’ve Come’ confronts ageing and mortality. ‘All We’ve Ever Wanted’ revisits the rawness of Leo’s anguish in its images of forest fires and quicksand, his desire for fatherhood still burning.


Epic album closer ‘Goodnight Farewell’ sums up the future. Sonically corroded, beaten, but standing proud, it finds Leo finally attaining a sense of peace. “That’s about transitioning to a new phase. It’s saying goodbye to this life-changing year, saying goodbye to former versions of ourselves and what would have been a child as well. It's that transcendence of suddenly discovering that we can move forward into something that feels lighter and optimistic.”

And with that, Palace sail into 2024, fired up for one of the biggest years of their careers.

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