Friday, May 20, 2016

Meet Panama Wedding

I had the distinct honor to see one of what I consider the best Indie Pop bands I've seen in concert in a long time this week. Drove down to Nashville to see The Griswolds and Magic Man (Two bands that I adore) but I honestly have to say that their opening act, Panama Wedding stole the entire show.  Whether it was the ease in which Peter Kirk flowed across the stage as easily as his vocals filled the room or the fact that they had absolutely no pretense about them. These 4 guys from New York City came to spread the good word that is Panama Wedding to the masses and they did.

As an opening act, it's tough. Most of the time you are the least known of the groups at the gig.  You've got the smallest amount of time to get your message out and you've got to absolutely woo the audience into becoming fans. I had no idea who this small group was. I'd never heard them before and I had no preconceived notions.  What happened before their 30 minute set was over, however; was that I had already purchased both of their EP's from Amazon and I lit my social media up extolling the virtues of this group.

Comparisons aren't something that I like doing but it does make it easier to help people break into a sound. Musically, their sound is easy; laid back and very mellow. Vocally, Peter Kirk could be compared to Paul Simon and thems some pretty big shoes to fill but his voice is one that you know. You've heard it before and it makes you exceptionally comfortable. His range is fantastic and he's not attempting to be Paul Simon, he just could be compared to him. Lyrically, this group has some of the tightest lyrics about the life and times of the average person trying to get by in the world today. Put all of this together and you have a sound track to an amazing day. It's easy to listen to and it's got some familiarity to it but there's enough new and challenging stuff with the production and how the whole thing is tied together that you aren't going to get bored.

There's a great balance between the use of synth and keys to the instrumentation to the guitars, bass, and drums. The EPs have an amazing production value and it's no surprise since they've come from Glassnote Records (home to artists like CVRCHES, Phoenix, and Mumford and Sons). They are full and very fleshed out. Sometimes you get an EP and it sounds like it's been produced in a garage; which can be very cool, but in this case these sound like these guys have been around for many more years than they have. I think I'm on about my 12 listen through both EPs and all 9 songs are amazing.

'Into Focus' would be the "banger" of the two tracks and it's just this really cool track that's got an uptempo beat and the lyrics talk about how things just come together ater you've been working toward your goal. There's a rad guitar solo just a really bitchin vibe to the song. It's easily one of my favorites but the one that really gets me is "Uma". Another amazingly put together track that's just fantastic. It's got this lazy vibe that is a juxtaposition to the tempo of "Into Focus". The chorus is really great and sits with you and you find yourself singing it hours later and you don't mind. There's a joy to the song that comes through even though it's a bit of a rocky type relationship song.

I know I keep talking about how easy this group is and I think that's the best selling point of them. You throw on an album and there's no learning curve. It just happens easily and you don't need to take time getting to know them because you've been pals with them for as long as you can remember. They need to be headlining their own tour (which I told them after the concert) and I can't wait to see them again. There's a rumor that now that they're off tour they're going to be focusing on their first full length album which would be great but I don't mind more EPs either. With music being digital, mostly now, an EP is a pretty cool way to grab a handful of songs since the artists don't have to fill 74 minutes on a CD. I'll absolutely be keeping up with these guys because I dig the shit out of them.

Panama Wedding on the Web

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