After the demise of Isis in 2010, Caxide, Harris and Meyer decided they wanted to continue making music together. Moreno would later join the band and said he was always a fan of Isis. He went on to say, "I've always dug the moods these dudes convey with their sound. I am excited to combine my sense of creativity with theirs, and to have fun doing so." Palms is also an outlet for Caxide, Harris and Meyer to expand their sound beyond what Isis was. Caxide said, "I think a lot of people are expecting this to sound like Isis with Chino singing. That's not what this is, because that's not exciting." The former Isis members have intentionally strayed away from aspects such as the dynamics of their former band, including a major increase in communication, and also the composition. Caxide said, "When we were writing these songs, I was coming up with ideas that I would never have presented to Isis. I don't want to call this 'pop music,' but it's more in that vein than anything I've ever done."
The group's self-titled debut album, which was originally expected to be released in 2012, was actually released on June 25, 2013 through Ipecac Recordings—a label that was co-founded by Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) and released many of Isis' albums. Harris recorded, and mixed the album. Harris recorded his drum tracks at Joe Barresi's (Queens of the Stone Age, Melvins) own House of Compression studio and Moreno recorded his vocals at Harris' home studio. In July 2013, Palms performed at four shows in California in support of their debut album. On May 27, 2014 remix of Antarctic Handshake done by iconAclass/deadverse was released by Ipecac Recordings. On July 27, the band announced a 2014 fall tour.