EP: Panic Pocket – ‘Never Gonna Happen’

Two years ago BFFs Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey picked up a synthesizer and electric guitar, and formed synth-pop duo Panic Pocket so that they could play First Timers 2017; a festival addressing the lack of diversity in the DIY music community, and inviting those who have never played in a band before to perform. If you looked at the definition of Do-It-Yourself, Panic Pocket should be cited as an example.

The talented, self-described “lo-fi electro-pop heroes” have since signed with Reckless Yes and have now released their debut four-track EP, Never Gonna Happen. The EP is proof of the power of friendship. Sophie and Natalie write hook-laden indie-pop, with lyrical tongue-in-cheek wit and melodic charm reminiscent of The Paris Sisters and The Ronettes, with the harmonious, often salty, vocal interplay between the two of them their greatest strength.

Are you helping me to do my fucking job? ask both Natalie and Sophie as they punch their way through opening track, ‘The Boss’. It’s difficult to comprehend that neither of them have ever played in a band prior to forming Panic Pocket; their enthusiasm is infectious as they demonise life encounters through relatable personal expression, and their own brand of humour. Shit bosses are the fucking worst, but a miserable sexual encounter in track 2, ‘You Have to Laugh’, has the band asking “what is the fucking point?”

Track 3, ‘Pizza In My Pants’, laughs at the societal expectations that women should settle down, get married, and have children. I’m not fussed with pro-creation, I prefer my Playstation the duo exclaim, in defence of the nagging undertones from family and friends. By the final track, Panic Pocket have already torn apart the expectations of others, so ‘OK Cupid’ hears the band looking at themselves with self-deprecating humour, wondering why they keep falling for those on social media: I feel like I know you, but I don’t know you… Will you be my girlfriend?

With Never Gonna Happen, Panic Pocket have crafted catchy synth-pop songs full of punk-rock attitude and an undeniable sense of fun. And, speaking of punk-rock, Sophie and Natalie are joined by members of fellow indie-pop alumni Wolf Girl on this EP; further fleshing out their earlier sound heard on previous recordings like ‘Don’t Get me Started’/’Front Teeth’, with both drums and bass guitar driving proceedings into glam punk territory at times.

Never Gonna Happen is a big fuck you to societal norms; an extended play that documents a band discovering their own path musically and personally. But don’t panic! Sophie and Natalie are definitely headed in the right direction.

Never Gonna Happen is out now via Reckless Yes. Catch Panic Pocket live at The Finsbury for us on 10th May, along with Crumbs, Charismatic Megafauna and Rookes – we can’t wait!

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

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: January 2019

We’re two weeks in to 2019 and whether you’re keeping up with ‘Dry January’, demolishing the leftover Christmas supplies, or simply carrying on like the trooper you are – we’ve put together a list of brand new music to help with all of the above. Take some time to scroll through our words and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Big Joanie – ‘New Year’
Recorded at Hermitage Works with Producer Margo Broom and released via The Daydream Library Series (Thurston Moore & Eva Prinz’s label), Big Joanie’s debut album Sistahs is a stellar release from a band who have been actively working on and off-stage within London’s DIY scene for years. ‘New Year’ is the opening track on the record, and I love its focused, quiet yearning to kick-start something. (Kate Crudgington)

Lizzo – Juice 
Another utterly empowering and ferociously fun offering from GIHE favourite Lizzo, ‘Juice’ is filled with all the refreshing wit and funk-filled grooves that we’ve come to know and love from the Minneapolis artist. With Lizzo’s joyous, body-positive spirit and its immensely infectious, ’80s reminiscent hooks, ‘Juice’ is the ultimate feel-good anthem that you need to start your 2019. (Mari Lane)

The Choppy Bumpy Peaches – ‘Darjeeling’
What a musical delight from Luxembourg based The Choppy Bumpy Peaches. ‘Darjeeling”s mesmerising cacophony of instruments and sound, layering gently over each other, all drawn together with Julia Lam’s intriguing vocals. Such a heady and hypnotising sound. This track is taken from their first LP Sgt. Konfuzius & the Flowers of Venus which is out now, go check them out, The Choppy Bumpy Peaches. What a name. (Tash Walker)

Medejin – ‘Untitled 4’
There’s something about Medejin’s music which makes feel completely immersed in their sound, as if I’m in a room with no doors, covered ceiling to floor with speakers pouring out ‘Untitled 4’. A truly immersive dreamwave project from Jenn Taranto & Matthew Cooke. ‘Untitled 4’ is taken from their debut EP Eleni which is out now. I’ve got all my fingers crossed that Medejin will be bringing their Seattle sound to our shores in person soon. (TW)

Foxgluvv – ‘Crush’ (remixed by MOONOVERSUN)
Foxgluvv joined us in the studio as our first guest on the Get In Her Ears’ Radio Show this year, we talked with her about being a DIY artist, her particular slice of ‘hungover pop’ and this remix by Brighton based pop duo MOONOVERSUN. Released near the end of 2018, I cannot get enough of this remix and I urge you all to press play right now. It’s heavy on the electronics, pounding beats and warped vocals – dreamy. (TW)

Kill J – ‘Dead Weight Soldier’
Copenhagen’s Kill J has returned with a revenge fantasy in the form of new single ‘Dead Weight Soldier’. Following her fiercely political release ‘Strange Fruits of The Sea’ in 2018, this is the second track from her forthcoming album Superposition, which is set to be a poignant and unapologetic listen. (KC)

Cheerbleederz – ‘Staying Up Late’
Taken from last year’s EP Faceplant, Cheerbleederz’s latest single ‘Staying Up Late’ is filled with all the twinkling indie-pop melodies and honey-sweet vocals you could ever desire. With its jangly catchy hooks and a fuzzy whirring energy, it fills me with a comforting sense of joy on each listen. It’s also accompanied by a wonderfully animated, and super cute video, which you can watch here(ML)

Argonaut – ‘Girl Talk’
An empowering, punk-pop anthem, with motivational lyrics such as “You rock, you can change the world, you inspire boys and girls, you can do anything!”, Argonaut’s ‘Girl Talk’ is the perfect pick-me-up to kick start the new year. Filled with shimmering hooks and a magnificent punk-rock spirit, it’ll leave you ready to face 2019 with all the immense, buoyant energy that it oozes. As well as getting hold of their brilliant latest EP
The New Argonaut EP, you should also make sure you catch this band live – they completely blew us away playing at our gig at The Finsbury last week! (ML)

Panic Pocket – ‘Mr Big’
Inspired by too many formative Sex And The City marathons, Panic Pocket’s ‘Mr Big’ is an uplifting ditty about desperately wanting your close friend to stop defining herself by her relationship status and focus instead on friendship. Flowing with a twinkling charm and the London duo’s impeccable tongue-in-cheek wit, the track oozes honey-sweet harmonies alongside shimmering melodies and a gritty synth-driven energy. Strewn with memorable SATC quotes, highlighting the importance of friendship, it’s another luscious (and super relatable!) slice of indie-pop. (ML)

Micropixie – ‘New Year’s Day’
Micropixie is a British artist based in San Francisco who has recently found herself on The New York Times Top 10 Playlist for new songs which is amazing. We love this track from Micropixie which moves to its own beat whilst taking “a high-concept approach to offering commentary on a world that is torn by injustice, violence and war, and financial misdoings.” From all of us here at Get In Her Ears a huge well done to Micropixie, she’s definitely someone to watch out for in 2019. (TW)

Tallies – ‘Easy Enough’
Taken from their new self-titled debut album, Tallies’ latest single ‘Easy Enough’ oozes a captivating, dreamy haze as the raw vocals of Sarah Cogan soar alongside a whirring scuzz. With its shoegazey spiralling hooks and luscious emotion-driven energy, it’s impossible not to get sucked into its hypnotic allure and fall instantly in love with the unique, swirling  charm of this Toronto-based band. (ML)

Amaal – ‘Not What I Thought’
I’ve been enjoying this song a lot since I first heard it just over a week ago. ‘Not What I Thought’ comes from Somali-Canadian artist Amaal Nuux who has returned to music following much time spent on her activist work as the Goodwill Ambassador for Somalia Women and Children. Drawing influences from both her personal life experiences and her travels in all her work and music, this is her latest single out released on 10th January. Strong beats, warped samples and emotionally evocative vocals ‘Not What I Thought’ by Amaal earns a firm place on our January 2019 playlist. (TW)

Beckie Margaret – ‘New York’
My absolute favourite! Beckie Margaret released this heart-breaking track at the end of last year, and I’ve not been able to stop listening to it since. Beckie’s resilience in the face of heartbreak is what makes listening to her music so rewarding. Even in her seemingly weakest moments, her powerful, pure vocals provide an aching relief that can be felt all the way from the end of Southend Pier in her hometown, to the lonely shores of the city she sings about. (KC)

David Bowie – ‘Lady Grinning Soul’
It’s been two years since the death of the legendary David Bowie, and whilst it’s easy to lament the gap he’s left in the musical world, it’s much easier to put on his records and celebrate all of the wonderful art he left behind. ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ is taken from Aladdin Sane, one of my favourite Bowie albums. I’ll certainly be spinning it in tribute to the Starman over the next few weeks. (KC)

Track Of The Day: Panic Pocket – ‘Mr Big’

Having stolen our hearts playing live for us at The Five Bells last month, London duo Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey – aka Panic Pocket – have now shared a totally infectious new single.

Inspired by too many formative Sex And The City marathons, ‘Mr Big’ is an uplifting ditty about desperately wanting your close friend to stop defining herself by her relationship status and focus instead on friendship. Flowing with a twinkling charm and the duo’s impeccable tongue-in-cheek wit, the track oozes honey-sweet harmonies alongside shimmering melodies and a gritty synth-driven energy. Strewn with memorable SATC quotes, highlighting the importance of friendship – “Don’t laugh at me but maybe we could be each other’s soulmates” – it’s another luscious (and super relatable!) slice of indie-pop from the duo, showcasing all there is to love about them.

Of the track, Natalie elaborates:

“Sophie and I probably spend too much time watching TV. But whatever your thoughts on SATC (and OK, it hasn’t dated well!), you can probably relate to having someone close to you who spends all their time distracted, wondering where they stand with a potential – and probably unworthy – partner. This song is our Miranda moment; getting real about how toxic the subject of your best friend’s obsession really is.”

Released as a pay-what-you-want Bandcamp release, alongside sparkling feminist festive number ‘Mrs Santa’, ‘Mr Big’ is out now.

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Carl Farrugia

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Five Bells, 26.10.18

Friday saw our first night at The Five Bells in New Cross, with an immense – and slightly spooky – line-up of Cryptic Street, HAWXX, Worst Place and Panic Pocket.

First up, we’re treated to luscious indie-pop ditties of duo Panic Pocket.

Next, GIHE faves Worst Place deliver the dreamiest of sets as they launch their new double A side ‘Square Eyes’/’Soak’.

Penultimate band of the night HAWXX blow us all away with their frenzied rock anthems.

All the way from Malta, headliners Cryptic Street blast out their utterly immense, riot grrrl infused sounds, wowing us with their ferocious energy.

Huge thanks to all the bands who played for us on Friday. Our next gig is back at The Finsbury with headliners Sit Down on 9th November.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto