Track Of The Day: LibraLibra – ‘Panic Buy’

Having been massive fans of Brighton-based LibraLibra for a couple of years now, especially since they completely blew us away live at The Finsbury in December, it’s brought us all a bit of joy in these dark times to hear that they’re sharing a new song today.

And it’s not just any song. ‘Panic Buy’ was written only last week; a heat of the moment reaction to all that’s going on right now. And it couldn’t be more spot-on. Oozing a raging, ferocious energy alongside the phenomenal impassioned vocal power and immense raw emotion of front woman Beth Cannon, it’s a frenzied slice of angst-driven punk – a perfect riotous catharsis for the anger and fear we’re all feeling right now. An all-too-poignant colossal cacophony reflecting on these terrifying times.

Watch the new video, made alongside Eliot Tatler, for ‘Panic Buy’ here. And download the track from Bandcamp, from which all proceeds will be going to Age UK to help the elderly in this crucial time.

Please read Beth’s statement on ‘Panic Buy’:

Last week myself and the rest of LibraLibra were on our own personal mini lock-down. The best kind, at Echo Zoo Studio, where you are equipped with your best mates, snacks, tequila and a gorgeous vintage studio full to the brim with synths, gear and grand piano. We were set with the task of writing a bunch of songs from scratch to make waves for our eventual album. It was on Tuesday 10th March 2020 we wrote ‘Panic Buy’. 

Trying to get our ‘head in the game’ as some may say was virtually impossible, COVID-19 is the hottest topic on earth right now, it’s all around us! Every time you message a mate, pick up your phone, check the news, it’s there staring you in the face. It’s rife with an impending doom. Who is it effecting now? Which industry is it demolishing? What is the government doing to protect us? What can we do to help? Will we all survive? It was in the studio where it became obvious to us that inevitably elements of COVID-19 would seep its way into our writing whether we liked it or not. And it’s not hard to guess what began to plague our minds when you see the title of the song, ‘Panic Buy’.  

We began to hear reports of loo roll becoming non-existent, supermarkets being ransacked of tinned goods and essentials. The concept baffled us, as I’m sure it has for many of you, I felt like I was falling deep into my belief that as society we are in a perpetual episode of Brass Eye or The Thick of It. I’m just waiting for the camera to pan around to Chris Morris – alas I know this won’t happen, no matter how hard I fantasise. And at first, like many, we found the concept of loo roll riots amusing, because quite frankly we couldn’t understand why. Why, when thinking it might be the end of the world was there this nationwide consensus that you need to have the cleanest arse in the land for one? But more importantly, where has the love gone? Had it completely disappeared or was it ever even there? We need to think of the vulnerable, the elderly, our children, our society as whole. Why aren’t we looking after one another in this global pandemic?

I would also like to take this moment to explain that we are not attacking any of those who have panicked, because quite frankly it’s understandable. The media and our government have toyed with us, it’s relentless with one click-bait-horror-headline after another. Where is their compassion in trying to help us as a society unite? Instead they torment us, turn us against one another and promote selfishness and create this draconian ‘every person for themselves’ mentality. This has got to stop. 

So, on Tuesday 10th March 2020, ’Panic Buy’ was written in the heat of a moment, a worldwide moment of frenzied fear, frustration and confusion. ‘Panic Buy’ is a snapshot of a moment that we never thought we’d come too. A moment that we certainly never want to return to. We hope it serves as catharsis. We hope that as a society we use the pandemic as an opportunity to learn and grow. We hope to expand our compassion, realise the fragile and intimate connections that we all share and come to remember that our humanity is universal.

At times like this, we really do need to seek catharsis in music more than ever, and without bands like LibraLibra putting words to our fury and fear, I’m not quite sure what I’d do right now. So I’d like to give a big thank you to them for keeping going and continuing to create, in spite of everything – and all the other bands I’ve been seeking refuge in over the last couple of weeks.

Artwork by Jay Bartlett (@burtbile), from his photo series ‘How To Adapt in Panic-Buy Britain’:

Mari Lane
@marimindles