Palaces is a groundbreaking album that expands Flume’s influences to even deeper reaches of electronic music. He’s taken his signature experimental sound and perfected it, leading to some of the best music he’s written to date. It’s an LP that speaks to his vision and project as a whole, giving listeners a taste of exactly who Flume is even if they’ve never listened to anything else in his discography.
Opening with high energy on “Highest Building” featuring Oklou, the track sets the pace for the rest of the album. Emotions run high throughout, as the vocals and varied collection of sounds help steer the course. While there are moments of angst and frustration displayed through aggressive synths and pounding production, many of the lighter elements pave the way for a love-driven feel.
The vacillating mood can feel jarring, though that’s where the beauty of the LP lies. A clear example of this is how “Hollow” featuring Emma Louise and “Love Light” play back to back, followed by the harsh, ethereal sounds of “Sirens” with Caroline Polachek. The album takes on a much airier sound immediately after, as the relaxing beat of “Go” blends perfectly into the namesake tune with Damon Albarn, “Palaces.”
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In all, Palaces is yet another masterstroke from Flume. The unpredictability meshed with the phenomenal sound design and overall production makes for one of the Australian producer’s most impressive projects to date. Additionally, the heavyweight contender has unleashed a top prospect for album of the year in what’s shaping up to be an incredibly competitive battle.
Listen to Palaces on streaming platforms here.