Review by Shelley Te Haara
I have been following Jack Panther’s music for a while since I came across his music through one of the many emails I get sent. I last caught up with him during New Zealand’s first lockdown. So to receive his new EP, This Dream I Had, in advance to review was quite exciting. And if you are wanting a flat answer to if you should listen to it – The answer is YES!
‘Blue Boy’ kicks off the EP and it is a great track to just chill and vibe too. Throughout this EP I feel there are elements of his vocals really remind me of a more raw version of a ‘Blue Neighbourhood’ era Troye Sivan (my fave era tbh). I don’t know why I didn’t really think about that until now. But what I think that you can hear as we continue into ‘Power’, what Jack does well that Troye doesn’t is keep that raw and emotional sound. Sometimes the more polished tracks and vocals take that away from the track. Sometimes the listener wants to hear the voice change and falter. Well I know I personally do.
I truly think the vocals are a very strong point of this EP. Musically there are similar elements in each track which helps it all flow together. I also think there is something more in this EP – That sounds weird I know but let me try explain: Do you ever listen to a song or body of work and think “this artist sounds more confident” or “this just sounds SO like this artist – in a good way”. That is what I felt listening to this. Though most of these tracks have been previously released, as a whole, I think this just really sounds like Jack Panther – What he wanted to sound like and create.
Now in saying all that, I do think there could have been more. It does seem similar throughout which some people will like. But I also acknowledge that this is the first “body” of work that Jack has released and I think this is a great start and I look forward to seeing where this goes.
Another thing I wanted to touch on was the imagery I have seen from these new releases. He just seems so confident and as I said above “creating what he wants”. These images are just SO beautiful! Not to say the other images weren’t but these ones definitely stand out to me.
I really look forward to hearing these tracks live – Please & thank you Jack!
Developing in the Wellington scene and born in Auckland is queer artist Jack Panther, who uses his craft to blend tones of melancholy with pop. 2020 will see the release of Panther’s sophomore EP, ‘this dream i had’, a collaboration alongside UK based producer Ian Barter who has worked in developing artists including Amy Winehouse, FKA Twigs and Paloma Faith.
Panther experiences vivid and complex dreams, and one particular dream about the future of himself and his partner inspired the concept for the EP. He explains, “the tracks were written when I was in a passionate relationship that turned toxic. I wrote about every intense moment of the relationship and ended up narrating its demise”.
From beginning to finish the tracks tell a narrative of summer love, long distance and heartbreak. His writing intertwines personal experiences with relatable feelings which showcase a vulnerable, brooding pop-side.