Palmas’ new single, “Bad Dream,” slated for release on May 29, premieres today on American Songwriter. The single comes ahead of their upcoming self-produced, debut record via Lost Colony. “Bad Dream” is the trio’s first release since their 2016 EP, To the Valley.
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Somewhere between New York and Philadelphia, Palmas elicit a unique blend of soul, psych, and R&B. With Kurt Cain-Walther (vocals/keys), Matthew Young (guitars), and Andrew Torre (drums, percussion, programming), the trio wields the diverse platform of popular culture and personal experience to cultivate a mix of eclectic sounds.
Palmas takes a turn from their typical sun-drenched sonic scenery in “Bad Dream.” These three men came together in what guitarist, Matthew Young, described as a “tell-all therapeutic way” to pen this track. On a personal level, Young feels the song is retrospective, examining a time he felt there was no escape. His contribution explores underlying issues that disturbed his relationships and led him to be more reclusive.
Intro lyric lines explain the conundrum of losing a sense of self: “I was there but I wasn’t really there / I was somewhere else / I saw myself from the other side / I was lost / You couldn’t tell.”
“Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to realize it’s time to make a change,” Young shared about the lead single. “Whether it’s a relationship or a job that makes you unhappy, “Bad Dream” represents this realization and the peace that follows with the decision to wash your hands clean.”
The single embraces the uncomfortable. “When nothing around us looks the same, we decided to lean into the unsure and write from raw nerve,” explained lead vocalist, Kurt Cain Walther.
The lyrics come from a dark place. Instead of letting the song be defined by the melancholy lyrics, “Bad Dream” moves into a more upbeat space with bright instrumentation and a punchy bassline. The heavy lyric lines float through impassioned vocals with ease.
“We felt like this gave the song the surreal sensation that comes with sudden clarity, like waking up from a bad dream in a cold sweat,” Kurt Cain-Walther added about the contrast.
“Bad Dream” was recorded at their studio in North Philadelphia, using their ever-evolving collection of both vintage and modern gear.
“The song’s sonic signature is a tip-of-the-hat to recording techniques of the past. It represents our unwavering appreciation and love for classic-sounding records,” expressed Andrew Torre, the band’s drummer and engineer.
This dynamic departure for the band marks a turning point in their career, following their highly-acclaimed 2016 EP. Palmas embraces this project as ambassadors for the boundless genre their music continues to explore and expand upon.
Pre-save “Bad Dream” and watch the Palmas’ music video for their lead single below.