West Palm Beach/Gulf Shores

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Perhaps the loveliest moment in the Palace canon, the "Gulf Shores"/"West Palm Beach" single boasts a languid, doleful beauty calling to mind slowcore acts like Red House Painters. Couched by shimmering, ringing guitars and jazz-like drums, Will Oldham evokes the stark desolation of off-season Florida tourist traps also brought memorably to life in Victor Nunez's brilliant film Ruby in Paradise -- though their titles may suggest something closer to Jimmy Buffett singalongs, both "Gulf Shores" and "West Palm Beach" capture the artifice and loneliness of tropical life with poignant accuracy. [Both songs were subsequently compiled on the Mountain EP and later still on the essential Lost Blues and Other Songs collection.]