If you are looking for music that is catchy with substance, look no further than San Francisco natives Panic is Perfect. The band’s debut album, Cellspace released early in February features catchy pop songs with narrative, and since then the album’s first music video was released in March. The music video is a clear visual depiction of the layers the band successfully creates in each song on the album.
The song itself is a ballad, describing the lives of two people, Paula and Jimmy. In the music video we get to see these narratives come to life through actors and by the use of bright lights, TV static as transitions, quick cuts, and graphic images acting as act introductions (water drop, heartbeat, lightning). First we meet Paula and watch him leave home. This is all while getting hit with the lyrics: “I once heard it said/ You’re defined by what you leave / She didn’t know about that/ She just needed more room to breath.” Though Paula was in a colorless home while Jimmy is in a hospital room, they are both introduced in cold environments and pull themselves out of them. This change is so quick and well done, thanks to the effects in the music video that the shift in both of their moods is obvious. When their stories combine and they meet at the live performance that has been going on throughout the rest of the music video, everything comes together.
The song and music video have a message of pushing past depression and negative feelings to enjoy living in the moment. One of the group’s founders, Mike Hoffman said, “We have a lot of multi-layered arrangements in our songs, and almost everything we write features big hooks,” Hoffman says. “Everything is catchy, but it’s also complex. The songs are approachable and memorable at the same time.” The hook in “You’re Alive” is used to drive home this message of optimism during tough times. There is a sense of urgency in the music that is elevated rather than tied down by negative emotions. These are the layers the band aims for.
Make sure to check out Cellspace for more.