Album Review: Panama - It's Not Over (2012 EP)

Panama’s EP It’s Not Over drips an amazing electronic 80s LA vibe. It has a great nostalgic feel to it, and is something that would fit perfectly into your holiday summer road trip playlist. It’s summer in a sound and its house feel makes you want to play it on repeat. You don’t feel the pressure to listen too closely, and it’s a nice background soundtrack to hanging out with friends. The beat can just wash over you and bring thoughts of the sticky heat of a sunny day, while the melody is like a cool breeze that dries the water beads on your skin after a dip in the ocean.

The EP was recorded and produced in LA with Eric Broucek, who was part of the genius behind Cut Copy and LCD Soundsystem. With people like this working on the EP, it’s not unusual to meet it with high hopes. These Aussies have embraced the feel and culture of LA, and their sound reflects their culture shift perfectly. They’ve been taken in by the LA beat and let their music show their adoption of this laid back, heat driven philosophy.

It’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into the quality of recording, and their care really shines through. The music is crisp and each song is constructed so that it feels natural, like the music fell together the way it should be. It exudes a classic house atmosphere that stays true to its genre. Jarrah McCleary‘s talent with the piano has translated perfectly to the keyboard, pumping out cool tunes that give their 80s sound a new invigorated life.

The EP flows together well, with each song transitioning into the next effortlessly. It gives the feel of a collective whole rather than individual songs, but certain songs definitely stand out. Their single “It’s Not Over” exudes an underlying badassery that is only made better by its easy relaxed vibe. It has the tropical feel that runs throughout their EP, but is somehow smoother, with simple vocals whose lyrics stay with you long after the song has ended. The video that accompanies it provides the perfect story of effortless cool and a danger that’s worth the risk.

Another interesting song off the EP is “Magic”. This tune gives insight into the band’s upbeat side, with the tropical rhythm coming through a lot stronger than the chill of “It’s Not Over”. Despite it’s potential to go by unnoticed on a playlist, the song has nice elements. It evokes images of palm trees and sand, and has an ideal balance of mellow boppiness.

Panama is a band that isn’t so much looking over the edge of cool as it is jumping right off the cliff. They’ve got the electro pop personality down, and even if it isn’t anything particularly new, they still make it sound great. It’s definitely made it onto my playlist, but I’m not so sure it will stand out. If you like this kind of nostalgic summery energy, then this EP is a must. Panama knows who they are, it fits and they’re doing it well.

Review Score: 7.2 out of 10.