Released on the 21st of June, Pankhabilli’s new single ‘Come Around’ is a positive development on their already complex and interesting sound. The duo, from both France and Wales, has already gained quite a bit of attention with this self released single and I’m pretty happy about this. While their previous tracks held this familiar, dissonant but relaxed atmosphere, ‘Come Around’ brings the potential of current production to the table. By introducing huge sounding synths to compliment the prominent parts and again tighter electronic drums lines we can hear the whole song evolve as it’s played.
Starting with a happier tone than previously heard in Pankhabilli’s music we’re almost tricked into thinking were listening to a different genre altogether. This almost pleasant atmosphere I believe is encouraged by Claire’s vocals which are quite playful and have a really interesting rhythmic element.
However the track soon finds its foothold where Claire remains singing in the same style but the backing falls into a much more serious mode. I say mode because Pankhabilli have the lovely trait of introducing controlled dissonance here and there. I have to be honest; I love dissonance because it creates an interesting emotional response. This is why I have always loved the Sonic Youth and their sloppy sound captures this facet perfectly. With them, what sounds like a mistake is generally an emotional expression. ‘Come around’ is by no means sloppy and their use of electronic instruments helps to create clarity in its exploration but the style of their guitars and vocal melodies hold the same air as with the Sonic Youth.
Another positive trait is how well the single is mixed and mastered. Claire’s vocals are much clearer in this track than in ‘The Ladder’ or ‘Water on Mars’, while keeping that airy, and breathy sound. As the track builds, more and more tracks and instruments are introduced; each perfectly balanced and given its adequate space.
Unfortunately while the drums in ‘Come Around’ are tighter and controlled, I feel that Pankhabilli’s percussive factor is no longer so pronounced. Previously they relied on these enormous sounding live drums to create the pace but here other parts are given more room. This, I suppose isn’t a bad thing but instead just a subjective choice on the band’s part.
As the track comes towards its finish the atmosphere has changed dramatically from the playful sound at the very beginning. Now with large swelling synths, syncopated percussion and free moving vocals we’re brought to a plateau of triumph and resolution. Pankhabilli pull this off really well; portraying complex and interesting emotion with no difficulty.
I was really happy to be able to review Pankhabilli’s new single because I love the genre and they pull of off with style and ease. I’m looking forward to more material to happily devour.