wed 29/01/2020

CD: Breathe Panel - Breathe Panel | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Breathe Panel - Breathe Panel

CD: Breathe Panel - Breathe Panel

Brighton quartet produce an album of shoegaze-pop perfect for the summer

Breathe Panel: here comes the sun

Signed to FatCat records and purporting to create music that “recalls thoughtful days spent outdoors”, Breathe Panel’s self-titled album could easily be lost in the thriving soft-psych scene that seems to have set itself up in the south of England. Ultimately, though, Breathe Panel’s considered melodicism and dynamic range ensures that it’s a strikingly tender body of work that gets more and more enjoyable with each listen.

Album opener “Carmine” quickly blossoms into the simple-yet-catchy guitar hooks and soaring chords which permeate much of the album. “Myself” treads along more gently; woozy guitar lines intermingle with heavily reverbed-backing vocals, creating a song that feels as introspective as it does relaxed, in part due to singer Nick Green’s repeated “myself… alone”.

Single “On My Way” is a high point, calling Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt’s side project, Lotus Plaza, to mind, marrying a solid rhythm section with wistful melodies to produce a track of gorgeously sun-dripped indie-pop. “Sunrise / Sunshine”, with its four-to-the-floor drums and sparser instrumentation, is another album highlight, bringing drums and bass to the fore under intricate riffs; with instruments dropping in and out throughout the song, it’s perhaps the most engaging track on the album for a casual listener.

The uneasy bassline of “Red Wine Grass” brings a tension to their music for the first time on the album, although the song as a whole stays true to their laid-back roots. “Through Leaves” similarly meanders slightly from their signature sound – it’s a kooky instrumental based around krautrock grooves and what sounds like a synthesised marimba, acting as a breath of fresh air among tracks centred around Green’s beautifully considered yet unchanging vocal style.

For all its sunny intentions, the album does start to drag during the second half – what Breathe Panel do well, they do very well, and as such, don’t deviate very far from it. Luckily for them, the calibre of songwriting on display still manages to shine through.

Simple-yet-catchy guitar hooks and soaring chords permeate the album


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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