Palo Santo

Album: Palo Santo (2018)
Play Video


  • The Palo Santo album is centered around a dystopian world where androids have taken over and are corralling the last remaining humans on Earth to do their bidding. Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander explained to The Sun: "I want to blow people away. I've always loved sci-fi and fantasy. And pop music is all about escapism, creating different realities and having fun."
  • Before Alexander started on any of the music for Palo Santo he read lots of books and created a scrapbook containing poems, drawings, photographs and other random little gems of inspiration and started scheming. He said: "I began approaching it like I used to do with art projects at school."

    Alexander also began working with Fred Rowson, who has directed several of the band's videos to create a film that took the music and lyrics and themes of the album and set them against a new story. "We basically bounced ideas off each other for a year and then we arrived at Palo Santo," he said.

    "Once we had reached that point, we scrapped all the songs we had and went back to old ones," Alexander added. "Palo Santo was a song we went back to. I always really loved it, but we just didn't know if we were going to use it. It was all a jigsaw puzzle that came together through the concept for the album."
  • The 15-minute Palo Santo film was first teased in April 2018 with a trailer narrated by Dame Judi Dench. It features Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm who starred opposite Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives. There is also a cameo from actor Ben Whishaw, who previously featured in Years & Years video for "Real."
  • "Palo Santo" is Spanish for "holy wood." Alexander explained to iHeartRadio: "I came across this type of wood, like a stick of wood [called] Palo Santo and then you burn it and it smells good. It's meant to cleanse your space of negative energy and I was just fascinated by that and I loved the way that sounded, so we took the name of it, Palo Santo, and created the universe that the album lives in."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn YankeesSongwriter Interviews

Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.

Chris Fehn of Slipknot

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues

Justin Hayward of The Moody BluesSongwriter Interviews

Justin wrote the classic "Nights In White Satin," but his fondest musical memories are from a different decade.

Corey Hart

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

Thomas Dolby

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."