Years & Years Release Album And Short Film ‘Palo Santo’

oday, Years & Years release their hugely-anticipated second album ‘Palo Santo’. ‘Palo Santo’ comes accompanied by a bold short film of the same title, directed by Fred Rowson and starring Olly Alexander, Dame Judi Dench, Ben Wishaw and cult Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm.  Surrounding these releases, the successful new single ‘If You’re Over Me’ has now reached Top 10, and news of the band’s massive UK and European tour later this year – including a date at London’s O2 Arena.

‘Palo Santo’ was created from the imagination of singer Olly Alexander, where he could be his “freest self, not tied to a gender or sexuality.” In this thrilling parallel universe, light years from here, Palo Santo has steadily been revealed to the world in a series of videos, narratives on and offline, finally climaxing in every sense of the word by way of their recently revealed live show, and newly released short film and album, out today.

‘Palo Santo’ takes its name from a sacred wood but in the band’s new film, ‘Palo Santo’ has come to represent more, as part of a densely woven backstory, in which Palo Santo is a city on a distant planet; one where human beings are a rare commodity, worshipped and idolized by an android society. Olly, along with other humans, is recruited to perform in a series of bizarre erotic cabarets, for an artificial master known only as The Showman. Introduced in the videos to ‘Sanctify’ and ‘If You’re Over Me’, the short film expands on the stories teased there. It is also a reunion of sorts for Olly, Judi and Ben, who all starred in a London production of John Logan’s play ‘Peter & Alice’ back in 2013. 

A band always intuitively connected to great, homespun British pop classicism, ‘Palo Santo’ is an album that confirms Years & Years’ ascension to the world stage. At the core of it all is Olly Alexander, a once-in-a-generation front-man who understands more than most his responsibility as a pop star. His personal leap forward in scope and ambition is reflected in the album’s colorful mix of collaborators, which range from Kid Harpoon, Greg Kurstin, Julia Michaels and Justin Trantor to Steve Mac, Jessie Shatkin and Sarah Hudson. On ‘Palo Santo’, Years & Years’ impact on pop feels truly tribal, one in which the minority is always the majority, and everyone is welcome. Including both ‘Sanctify’ and current top 10 single ‘If You’re Over Me’

Watch the ‘Palo Santo’ short film below