Track Of The Day: Panic Shack – ‘Mannequin Man’

Cardiff band Panic Shack describe their upcoming debut EP as “raw, honest and always chaotic”, and new single ‘Mannequin Man’ is the ideal track to showcase the band. Upbeat and fun throughout, it’s just under three minutes of pure joyous energy.

Every element of this track, from the sound to the aesthetic, has a camp ‘80s vibe. In the accompanying video, the band are dressed in leopard-print leotards and leg-warmers as they bounce around, as the music blends a simple drum beat with rolling bass and the kind of strings you can’t help but get stuck in your head.

The whole atmosphere is infectious – it’s impossible to watch the video and not feel the itch to bop along with it. Shot in front of a green screen, it is definitely to the band’s credit that they’ve managed to work around the limitations of a peak-pandemic release to create something so fun.

The lyrics specifically refer to one subject – the titular Mannequin Man – but are vague enough that it’s easy to project meaning into them. Lines like “Do you even feel? Do something! Show me you’re real!” feel like there is hidden depth within them. Perhaps the man in question is emotionally unavailable… Maybe he “better run as fast as you can” because the narrator has finally given up on a connection. So, I found it really fun to learn that the song is simply a reaction to the band meeting a man whose job to was to be a real-life mannequin. I like that this song has taught me that that is a job that exists. I have so many questions and I’m enjoying wondering how and why you might end up in that career. The song effortlessly captures the fun inherent in the idea and stays with you in the same delightful way.

Baby Shack, the debut EP from Panic Shack, is out on 8th April via Brace Yourself Records. Pre-order here.

Kirstie Summers

Photo Credit: Ren Faulkner

LISTEN: Inland Murmur – ‘Waterline’

A stirring reflection on how interactions with nature can help us move past feelings of grief, Cardiff-based indie band Inland Murmur have shared their second single ‘Waterline’. The group take a gentle dive into difficult emotions through their fluid, atmospheric guitar sounds, rolling rhythms and smooth dual vocals on this latest offering.

Formed of Hannah (bass, vocals), Toby (vocals, guitar & drums) and Alan (guitar), Inland Murmur met in London and were busy playing shows at independent venues when Covid-19 hit last year. During the first lockdown, the band used the time to write and record new music, resulting in new single ‘Waterline’. The track is a restorative and instinctive effort from the trio, who like many of us were forced to re-evaluate things when the pandemic restrictions set in.

“Lockdown gave me some time to reset and I realised how much I enjoy singing,” explains Hannah, who sang lead vocals for the first time on this single. “I realised that a lack of confidence was holding me back and life’s too short! With a supportive band and producer, I felt able to step up to sing lead vocals which has really unlocked a new dimension to the band’s sound.” With her new found confidence, Hannah and her band mates have created a sound that shines with charming authenticity.

Listen to ‘Waterline’ below.

Follow Inland Murmur on bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Kate Crudgington