LIVE MUSIC : PANAMA
WARMTH, NOSTALGIA & MELODY
This June Panama return with the Hope For Something EP, a five-track project brought to life by singer-songwriter Jarrah McCleary’s confessional storytelling. His richest and most moving work yet, the EP’s subject matter spans personal turmoil, making peace with your past and the loss of a loved one, but ultimately emerges optimistic.
Leading the EP is the triumphant title track ‘Hope For Something’, out April 21, a song McCleary wrote about his personal demons. “It’s about a battle with yourself,” he says. “This song was a bit like therapy for me as it helped me resolve some things I had been holding on to for a very long time. Writing it was like self-talk.” With a melody that soars, stadium-sized vocals and Panama’s trademark crescendos, the result is McCleary at his most energising.
The EP’s second single ‘Undertow’, marks the passing of a loved one and the feeling of trying to make that person last forever. At other moments on the Hope For Something EP, McCleary sings about relationships, communication and being away from the one you love, each song detailing a deeply personal story.
These personal songs have been a common theme to Panama’s music since 2013’s breakout moment the Always EP, which to date has amassed over 30 million streams between Spotify and SoundCloud, earned a place in triple j’s Hottest 100 and received airplay on BBC Radio 1. In the years following, Panama released the fan favourites ‘Stay Forever’ and ‘Jungle’, embarked US and European tours (the latter of which included Barcelona’s Primavera Sound and a sold out headline show in London).
As a singer, songwriter, producer and instrumentalist, Jarrah McCleary has the rare ability to blend both live and electronic sounds in his music. It’s also a skill that allows him to paint every element in his songs, from the moment he first sits down at the piano to the final touches in the studio.
“All my music is about the electronic and the acoustic elements and the push and pull of the machine and human error,” McCleary says. “All of the songs come from an emotional place and I always draw upon personal experiences when I’m writing. It’s that fine line between truth and poetry”.