Five Favourites: Panic Pocket

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!)

PLAYLIST: Valentine’s Day 2018

Look, we know Valentine’s Day will never top Galentine’s Day, but we might as well hijack this awful date and try and use it as an excuse to get another cracking playlist set up for your listening pleasure. Whether you want to celebrate romantic love, sisterly love, brotherly love, other-worldly love – or just stay in with a bottle of whatever and seduce yourself – we reckon this playlist has you covered….

Best Coast – ‘Crazy For You’ 
When Paul and I first started going out, I was living in Dorset and he was living in London, so we were sort of pen-pals for a while – sending each other mixtapes and little drawings (his were much better than mine, obvs). One weekend when I was missing him a lot, I received a package with a copy of Best Coast’s Crazy For You album enclosed. The title track has been one of ‘our songs’ ever since. An upbeat, summery tale of naive romanticism and all-consuming love. (Mari Lane)

Wolf Alice – ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’
“I’d like to get to know you, I’d like to take you out…” My heart beats so hard when I hear the opening line of this glorious tune from Wolf Alice. The sweet, reluctant lyrics and gentle synth sounds make having feelings for someone sound like the most tender and precious thing in the world – even if they scare you half to death when the track stops playing. (Kate Crudgington)

Kill J – ‘You Have Another Lover’
An anti-valentine ode to love and betrayal from Danish faves of mine Kill J. Equal parts heavenly and haunting, ‘You Have Another Lover’ layers and loops, so unsettling and so suffocating. This was actually where my favourite phrase to date “so chill I can’t even” derives from. (Tash Walker)

FKA Twigs – ‘Good To Love’
I heard FKA Twigs’ debut album LP1 for the first time after a painful break-up a few years ago, and I was captivated by her musical explorations of lust and heartbreak. I always return to the album when I feel lost or rejected, but stand alone single ‘Good To Love’ is another soft, calming tonic for the moments when my heart starts second-guessing itself. (KC)

Le Tigre – ‘Eau D’bedroom Dancing’
Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time, this uncharacteristic ballad of Le Tigre’s is a simple, lo-fi proclamation of love. Maintaining the stripped back nature of Hanna’s solo Julie Ruin project, it showcases a subtle fragility to her vocals; one which is often hidden behind her powerful persona. And, with lyrics like “The world’s a mess and you’re my only cure”, it seems to sum up the feelings of longing and vulnerability that can come with being in love, however independent we may normally be. (ML)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Lance Jr’
The excellent lyricist Courtney Barnett delivers some of my favourite lines in this track ‘Lance Jr’, where she casually sings about masturbating to a guy’s songs followed by “Doesn’t mean I like you man/It just helps me get to sleep…” Legit. We’ve got to look after ourselves people, and what a difference a good night’s sleep makes. (TW)

Alvvays – ‘Archie, Marry Me’ 
This song from my fave Canadian band just always puts a smile on my face. Paul and I have spent many an evening, or car journey, singing this to each other. It just makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside. (ML)

Nirvana – ‘Love Buzz’
Originally sung by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, Nirvana released this as their debut single back in 1988. It’s one of my favourite songs, and I still feel a glorious buzz whenever I spin it. (KC)

Joan Jett – ‘Crimson & Clover’
If you’re not singing this classic in to the face of the one you love on karaoke by the end of the day, you’ve failed Valentine’s Day 2018. (KC)

Blondie – ‘One Way or Another’
Co-written by Debbie Harry, this track is actually about an ex of hers who took things too far and started stalking her… I think it’s good to know what’s out there guys, this is still a tale of love, albeit obsessive creepy love. (TW)

Deep Throat Choir – ‘Baby’
I’ve seen Deep Throat Choir live a number of times, and each time it’s been a simply euphoric experience watching the exceptional power of these women uniting their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring. This exquisitely beautiful cover of the Donnie and Joe Emmerson ’70s classic just gets me every time. (And, don’t tell anyone, but if I ever get married I’d like Deep Throat Choir to come and sing this at the wedding, please). (ML)

Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case Of You’ 
If you can listen to this song without tears in your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I ever will be. The heartbreakingly poetic lyrics, the stripped back instrumentation, the soaring, subtle power of Joni’s incredible vocal range; it’s just a devastatingly perfect love song. (ML)