June 23rd saw Sydney based artist, Panama release their five track EP Hope for Something, offering synth pop soaked in sentiment, coupled with tangible and relatable themes, topped off with a large helping of naked truths.
Written, performed and vocalised by Jarrah McCleary, the 5 track EP explores themes such as internal struggles, loss and optimism in a mature and heartfelt manner whilst bathing the listener in the natural tangerine glow of summertime.
The EP itself boasts soothing summery vibes, and begins with title track; Hope for Something, which unsurprisingly devises a feel of hope and optimism in the face of self-reflection.
McCleary establishes these themes early on, making them apparent through the integration of lyrics such as “You should know something good takes time anyway” and “This year, I’m gonna turn it all around again”. Both lyrics specify about looking ahead and towards the future, a theme that is revisited throughout the EP.
Following Hope For Something, is the second track; I Watched You Slip. Much alike its predecessor, it follows within the same vein of self-reflection on past wrongs, whilst hinging on the optimism of something yet to come. This sanguine expectation is also perched atop an underlying fear of failure in a relationship as illustrated through McCleary’s line “I don’t wanna mess this up” followed by “You got your hopes in me”.
Next is The Highs, which also explores the theme of a relationship. This song departs from the vibe shared by other songs on the ep for a more reserved tone both lyrically and melodically. Initially starting out slower, the piece begins with only a piano to accompany McCleary’s pacifying tones before picking up and becoming more upbeat with other accompaniments.
Track four and the second single released from the EP is Undertow, depicting a tale of hope despite loss, an idea woven intrinsically within Hope For Something.
The term undertow refers to the undercurrent beneath waves pulling in an opposing direction to the surface current. Here however, according to McCleary the term is used as a “metaphor for a place where people go once they pass” and the idea of being reunited one day once more boasts hope, whilst also placing more weight upon the line “I’ll see you in the undertow”.
Concluding Hope For Something is the track, Your Love (Lift Us Up). Whilst continuing with the stylistic approach maintained throughout the EP, it remains to be said that this track possesses a different and perhaps more reserved tone in comparison to its predecessors.
Overall, Hope For Something already shows development from Panama’s more early material. And although a tour hasn’t been announced, the space surrounding Panama is one to be watched.