From despair to redemption | Palace share track-by-track breakdown of new album Ultrasound

Palace return with a profound exploration of love, loss, and redemption in their new album, as revealed to whynow in a detailed track-by-track commentary.

LEADPalace_Press_3 Keerthana Kunnath

With each album, Palace have consistently explored new territories, both in theme and sound. This time, with their eagerly awaited new record Ultrasound, Leo offers an exclusive track-by-track breakdown, providing insights into the inspiration, creative process, and stories behind each song.

From the transformative experimentation in ‘All We’ve Ever Wanted’ to the contemplative introspection of ‘Love Is A Precious Thing’, the band’s narrative arc promises a compelling journey through light and shadow, hope and despair, with the intricate musicianship and lyrical poignancy Palace is renowned for.


All We’ve Ever Wanted

It started as something more folky and classic. We were about to press record, but it dawned on us that we could be more adventurous with it. It felt too safe and in our comfort zone – even a little twee, which we really didn’t want.

After some experimentation and going nuts with our pedal boards, it turned into this dark Massive Attack-style song glued together with Matt’s hypnotic Trip Hoppy beat. It retained all the same chords as the original version but presented in a different, more contemporary shell. It turned out to be a moment that informed the sound of the rest of the album and actually represented what the album was about in a more direct and confrontational way. 

It paved the way to be braver and step away from feeling too safe.

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How Far We’ve Come

‘How Far We’ve Come’ is about a sense of despair and disappointment at our ability to shove our heads in the sand – and only look when it’s too late. Sonically, we referenced Neil Young’s ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’. We wanted to make it have a classic record feel, and it was an opportunity to pay homage to one of our heroes. I think it was important that the instrumentation had a sense of eeriness – to represent that feeling of – it’s too late now. Ru’s guitar line in the middle 8, echoed by the piano, brings that foreboding towards the end of the song. Harry also put some stunnin’ double bass bowing on there.

Inside My Chest

‘Inside My Chest’ is a song about the spaces in people’s hearts that are irreplaceable and held for someone else. It’s about knowing that their loss is part of them, and while you can’t take that spot, you’ll love them with all your heart. We wanted it to feel romantic and comforting – with a chorus that blooms into the purest form of vibrancy and lightness. Harry put some more double bass on, and we added some Mellotron to the choruses to give it something lifting. 

It reminds us of one of the bands’ favourite songs of all time ‘Baby’ by Donnie & Joe Emerson. It wasn’t intentionally referenced, but there’s a similar feel, which is cool. 

When Everything Was Lost

‘When Everything Was Lost’ is about the power of female energy and feeling a profound and overwhelming sense of awe in that. It’s about looking at someone you love from a distance, going through something hugely significant, and seeing them handle it in a way a man never could. 

It felt like perhaps one of the most significant songs on the album to tell the story, so we decided to put it first – to bring the listener into the journey. Our producer, Adam, was amazing at pulling the song out of us and being deeply respectful of the subject matter. We wanted to find a way to create a sort of heaviness without the obvious idea of playing louder at certain points. We learnt that you can create these moments and dynamics without always going BIG! For me, it’s one of the most powerful songs we’ve ever done, and it’s recorded so beautifully by Adam – Ru’s waves of guitar chords after the line “everything is fucked” makes me tear up every time.

Nightmares & Cream

‘Nightmares & Ice Cream’ is about a dream I once had in which I died – but it was beautiful and where I went. 

I have a strange relationship with sleep and dreams. I have incredibly intense lucid dreams all the time, to the point where they can be quite overwhelming. I made the beat on Volca Beats—something simple and electronic. Matt added these machine gun-style real snare hits towards the end of the song, and the guitars we wanted were sludgy and woozy to give that dreaminess. 

Make You Proud

‘Make You Proud’ is about the insecurities we feel in love. 

This one feels like classic Palace. Perhaps not as sonically unique as others on the album, but for us, these kinds of songs are really in our DNA as a band. They’re more classic-sounding with folky/Americana tinges.

 They feel like the kind of songs that first connected people with us as a band. We love writing them, and we love playing them. 


‘Bleach’ is about searching for balance but realising and accepting that nothing is perfect. It’s about realising that imperfection and differences are okay and, in the end, that they’re what makes two people human. It’s about accepting these things and those intimate, precious moments with someone when nothing exists outside of the four walls you’re in. The idea of bleaching your partner’s hair and them doing yours felt tender. 

Ru sent me the chords for this one, and it’s one of those songs that just feels natural straight away. Singing on it felt effortless and fast, which is always a good sign. There’s definitely a little Strokes vibe going on in it.

Rabid Dog

‘Rabid Dog’ is about those intense feelings of deep, locked-down pain—feeling an enormous weight of despair and hopelessness. It’s about the things we take from childhood that are part of us as we grow older—but we sometimes don’t realise they’re still in there—and the work we need to do to figure them out and untangle the knots. 


This felt like a special one, too. It felt very collaborative with our producer, Adam. Again we tried to employ this idea of creating power and drama but without smashing cymbals or strumming our guitars like nutters. We wanted to contain power and emotion. The song is about great loss and how we learn to grow and level up.

The instrumental outro has incredible power to me—it feels hopeful and deeply nostalgic all at once. It beautifully expresses the power of an instrumental moment without needing lyrics or melody to convey something deep.

We had these incredible string players, Evie and Matt, come in for the day. They put their parts down, and it took the song to new heights.

Goodnight, Farewell

This is my favourite song on the album, and for me, it may be the best thing we’ve ever done. It was at the end of the recording process, and we had some rough chords and a vocal, and that was it. We wanted a song that felt like a statement for us – something new and unorthodox.

 Adam told us to go in the live room and see what happens when we go ballistic with our playing and are not too precious. One song is where we go against the grain and create something brutal and ferocious. In one take, we came up pretty much with what made it onto the record. It was a moment of magic, and you could feel in the room the sense of the weight after we’d improvised it. 

We wanted a song with fire in its belly but a delicacy in moments to offset the power and rage of sound – and represent the complexities of life in some way. The song is truly a cathartic moment. It’s a release and a moment where a sense of redemption and self-acceptance has come.

It’s the light at the end of the album, and those heavy moments feel like the struggle and process of letting go and giving in. 

When I finished singing the vocal after the line “I’ll never forget who you were”, – a biblical hailstorm started outside, setting off car alarms. It was very eery and beautiful, like a sign of change and hope. If you listen closely, you can hear it at the end of the song. 

Say The Words

‘Say The Words’ is about the societal pressures women experience to be mothers and forego a sense of independence. It’s about watching my partner deal with these expectations. 

Love Is A Precious Thing

‘Love Is A Precious Thing’ is about love and pain being synonymous with one another. That with great love often comes great pain.

This one, I got my shitty little Yamaha PSS-470 keyboard and started messing around with the drum machine on it. It has these stock beats, which, to be honest, I loved. There are 12 in all, and you can only change the tempo, and there’s a button for fills. Very, very basic. I found a galloping beat and went with that.

It felt like a fun starting point for a song. After messing around with the key sounds on it, I found a sound that was quite classic, synthy and squishy and mapped out the rough chords. Me and Ru then spent a couple of days messing around with sounds and came up with what you hear. Ru, in a moment of genius, decided to put the instrumental outro in reverse and chucked other sounds on – and that became Cocoon! Cocoon has become a middle point on the album and a moment of reflection and warmth. 

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