Metro Weekly

Years & Years release “Palo Santo” short film with Ben Whishaw and Judi Dench

Olly Alexander stars in a film that celebrates the launch of Years & Years' second album

Photo: Years & Years / YouTube

Years & Years are celebrating the launch of their second album Palo Santo with the release of a dystopian short film.

Palo Santo is a 15-minute film starring Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm, Ben Whishaw, and Dame Judi Dench.

Alexander called the film “an android fairytale where humans are the only ones who still feel,” in a post on Facebook, and expanded on the creative process behind the film.

“Before I started on any of the music for this album I started dreaming of Palo Santo,” he wrote. “I got a scrapbook together of poems, drawings, photographs and other random little gems of inspiration — and I started scheming. The songs would turn out to be like diary entries from the next two years but I always knew I wanted to make a film that the music would soundtrack. I began working with [director] Fred Rowson on a film that took the music and lyrics and themes of the album and set them against a new story.”

Palo Santo continues the stories told in the music videos for album tracks “Sanctify” and “If You’re Over Me,” and Alexander said making the film was “the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Watch the full film below:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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