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Palms Are at The Top of Their Game on ‘Intensity Sunshine’

It’s been a few years between drinks for Sydney’s Palms, but on their first body of work since 2015, they prove they’re better than ever.

Image of Palms

Rebecca Allen*

They often say that you can have too much of a good thing, with this overindulgence leaving you burnt out and unsatisfied. Clearly this adage doesn’t apply to Palms’ latest EP, to which the only criticism that can be levelled is its far too short runtime.

Having formed in Sydney following the break-up of Al Grigg (songwriter, vocals and guitar) and Tom Wallace’s (drums and backing vocals) former band, Red Riders, Palms hit the ground running with their debut single in 2011. By 2013, they’d expanded to a quartet and released their debut album Step Brothers, before 2015 brought with it Crazy Rack.

Since then though, things have been quiet for the group, with “love, side projects, interstate and back again moves and kids” sidetracking the group for a few years. However, the group weren’t entirely ready to give up on the dream altogether, and as a result, Palms have spent the last couple of months sharing new tunes in the lead-up to their new EP, Intensity Sunshine, which officially releases today.

At just under 15 minutes, Intensity Sunshine more than lives up to its name, packing a dizzying mix of summery anthems into just under a quarter of an hour. Whether it’s the blistering garage rock of EP opener “This One Is Your One” (and closer, “Summertime”), or the reflective “Life (It’s Going Around)”, Palms provide a well-rounded EP that showcases their versatility across all styles without once ever feeling forced or unnatural.

EP midpoint “Calling” stands out as an undeniable highlight, with Grigg explaining recently that he hopes the track is a universally relatable one. “For me the song is about coming out and being proud and owning who you are, who you’ve been, and finding a way to be comfortable in it all,” he note in a statement last month.

“Other people might relate to that, or it could just be living the life you wanna live, ditching that crummy job, doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do but put off, or are kind of intimidated by,” he adds. “Like when you know there’s something better out there and it’s calling to you. You gotta pick up that call cos what other options are there, really?”

The result is arguably one of the finest releases set to be shared by an Australian outfit this year, with Palms’ Intensity Sunshine deserving not just a few casual spins on your Spotify queue, but your undivided attention as they show exactly what Aussie indie rock is meant to sound like.

Palms’ Intensity Sunshine, is officially out today.