Premiere: Shacks & Palaces’ “God Made You Strange” Is an Anthem of Acceptance, Self-Love, & Ownership

Shacks & Palaces © Adam & Karolina Wallace
Shacks & Palaces © Adam & Karolina Wallace
An indie pop anthem of self-love and acceptance, Shacks & Palaces (The Temper Trap’s Jonny Aherne) “God Made You Strange” is a catchy, groovy reminder to own our identity and embrace our unique sparks for making us who we are.
Stream: “God Made You Strange” – Shacks & Palaces




Many folks will feel an instant and visceral connection when listening to Shacks & Palaces’ new single for the very first time.

It’s the kind of feeling you get from a public speaker who somehow gets you, without ever meeting you; the kind of experience one might have when reading a book, and establishing a sort of kinship with one of the characters. Shacks & Palaces’ music is inherently intimate, and “God Made You Strange” dives deep into the folds of the self. An indie pop anthem of self-love and acceptance, “God Made You Strange” is a catchy, groovy reminder to own our identity and embrace our unique sparks for making us who we are.

God Made You Strange - Shacks & Palaces
God Made You Strange – Shacks & Palaces
God made you strange
but you’re perfectly strange
but when you try to be something else
it all hides away
In your mind there’s a court room
they stand and point at you
they might say who’s in or who’s out
they wont get you they wont see

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “God Made You Strange,” Shacks & Palaces’ special, cinematic third single since debuting earlier this year. The solo project of The Temper Trap’s Jonny Aherne, Shacks & Palaces is an unapologetically eclectic indulgence that finds the Australian-born, Brooklyn-based artist tapping into the same pool of creative energy that once gave us such evergreen hits as “Sweet Disposition,” “Love Lost,” and “Fader.”

Eleven years on from The Temper Trap’s defining debut album Conditions, Shacks & Palaces finds Ahern as sharp as ever. His debut single “Once Upon a Hilltop” and its follow-up release “Alone Together” are each an entrancing seduction of sweeping melodies, soaring choruses, and a stirring musical blend of indie pop and alt-folk. The artist has an uncanny knack for instilling a sense of nostalgia and warmth into his songwriting, without ever taking away from an appreciation of the present moment.

“God Made You Strange” arrives with some of Ahern’s most direct lyrics to date, not to mention a wellspring of love and good intent.

do do do do do do do do do
throw your anchor in the clouds
look at the world upside down
a million voices fill your head
don’t change a thing for anyone of them
cuz you know what you got no one can give
cuz there is no one other they’ll never exist

“‘God Made You Strange’ is about letting go of the trappings of social acceptance or the rejection that houses you!” Jonny Ahern explains. “And when I say you, I also mean me! It’s about embracing all of those unique things that put you outside the box, the beauty of your authenticity and nature … and not hiding away. I started writing this song knowing it could easily be a letter to my teenage self or to my son or just plain old anyone with shoes. High school to me, felt like I was walking down a broken escalator in a busy mall, just in my underwear, as people from all around started coming around to point and laugh. I was super awkward and I was uncertain of my future. I was dropping out of school, failing my classes, pretending I needed to go to the bathroom just to breathe.”

“God Made You Strange” is a call out to anyone who needs to keep stepping out, a little bit of encouragement. Also, I’d say it’s a personal anthem of some of my story.

Shacks & Palaces © Danny Rounds
Shacks & Palaces © Danny Rounds
You keep on imagining
something not rite with you
you watch the world passing by
what will you look like
what could this be
and from a boy to man
they might not get you
they might not see
God made you strange
but your perfectly strange
but when you try to be something else
it all hides away
God made you strange
and we love you that way
don’t try be nobody else cuz we lose
you that way

For anyone who’s ever felt alone in a crowded room; for anyone who’s ever felt like they stick out in a sea of faces; for anyone who has ever felt or been made to feel like the “other,” this song is a buoy of raw, uninhibited self-love and self-acceptance.

The Temper Trap may be on hiatus, but that isn’t stopping Jonny Ahern from making some of his best music of the decade. “God Made You Strange” and the rest of Shacks & Palaces’ nascent repertoire reveals an exciting, fresh artistry on the rise: One whose possibilities and promise are endless, and as exciting for Ahern as they are for us, his listeners.

So here’s to all of us perfectly imperfect, beautiful people: God made us strange, but we’re perfectly strange. Pour one out for yourself today, because you’re worth it – and let this special song soundtrack your new dawn.

Stream Shacks & Palaces’ “God Made You Strange” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

God made you strange
but you’re perfectly strange
don’t try and be nobody else
cuz we lose you that way

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Stream: “God Made You Strange” – Shacks & Palaces



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God Made You Strange - Shacks & Palaces

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