Having stolen our hearts playing live for us at The Five Bells last year, London duo Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey – aka Panic Pocket – create luscious slices of shimmering indie-pop with a twinkling charm and impeccable tongue-in-cheek wit.
We think one of the best ways to get to know a new artist is by asking them what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with the duo to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you watch their new video ‘Pizza In My Pants’ at the end of this post.
Aimee Mann – Bachelor No. 2 (Or, the Last Remains of the Dodo)
Nat: I picked up this record in an HMV bargain bin in Crawley when I was about fifteen, because I thought the cover looked cool, and I’ve been obsessed with Aimee Mann ever since. Bachelor No.2 was the perfect soundtrack to typical suburban teenage angst and it makes me nostalgic for my boombox every time I listen to it. Mann’s sad, darkly funny lyrics and deadpan vocals are a big influence for us. She also uses a lot of jazzy chords in her songs, which I steal because they sound cool and I still suck at barre chords!
Rilo Kiley – The Execution of All Things
Nat: I discovered Rilo Kiley when I was going through my Bright Eyes phase way too late in life, in about 2010. I was working for a medical research company in the middle of nowhere at the time. I hated my job and I was lonely and pretty sad. This bleak as fuck but triumphant album really helped me through the multiple work disasters, toxic relationships and emotional turmoil of that period. Jenny Lewis is an incredible songwriter and conjures such powerful imagery in her music. Just try and listen to ‘A Better Son, Daughter’ without feeling something. And then, check out Lewis’ new record On the Line too – it’s a masterpiece.
Dar Williams – Mortal City
Sophie: Before I hit peak Tori Amos fan, I had Dar Williams. After hearing her on a Lilith Fair compilation sing impassionately and wrly about therapy sessions, my angsty teenage heart was desperate to track her down. I listened to 30 second extracts of her songs on Amazon (the only access I had to the rest of her work in a pre-Youtube world), and then finally took the plunge and ordered Mortal City. Her confessional, folk-story, sometimes-sea-shanty songwriting had me rapt. ‘The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis Of A Co-Ed’ and the title track ‘Mortal City’ showed that sometimes less is more, and putting some witty sass in your songs can go a long way – it’s now the Panic Pocket standard.
PJ Harvey – Dry
Sophie: I saw Dry in my local library at age 15 and took it home on a whim, and quickly became obsessed. It marked several milestones in my puny white-girl teenage rebellion: my mum finally asked “what the hell are you listening to?”, and I realised that feminist rage and unrequited lust could go musically hand in hand to cathartic results. I felt like a mysterious vengeful witch was singing everything I wished I could have heard up until that first playthrough, and I still return to it on the reg.
Best Coast – ‘Crazy For You’
Nat: When we started Panic Pocket, we probably cited lo-fi surf rock duo Best Coast as our biggest influence – up-beat, bratty, lo-fi songs about darker, more complex situations. Sophie introduced me to this album when it first came out, and we were living hundreds of miles from each other. Whenever I hear it, it makes me think of how grateful I am that we get to hang out with each other every day right now. And just like Bethany Cosentino sings on ‘Goodbye’, we too wish our cat could talk. Nine years on, it’s still the perfect soundtrack to your summer.
Massive thanks to Panic Pocket for sharing their Five Favourites! Check out their new video for ‘Pizza In My Pants’ below:
Never Gonna Happen, the new EP from Panic Pocket is out 12th April via Reckless Yes. Catch Panic Pocket live at the following dates:
10th April – The Victoria (EP Launch)
10th May – The Finsbury (for Get In Her Ears w/ Crumb!)