Week in Pop: Ed Askew, José Díaz Rohena, LUKA, Midnight Opera

Sjimon Gompers

The prolific José Díaz Rohena steps out from behind the mixing board to showcase new material; photographed by Sarah Macreading.


PANGS live at the High Watt; photographed by Josh Kranich.

Nashville, TN’s PANGS are proving to be something in a pop class of their own creation & design. Lindsay, Nick, Will & friends possess an unusual knack for honing in on those particular musical constructs that have the ability to have reverberations years & years after the audience’s initial listen. Continuing their pursuit of carving out the most perfect sounds, the PANGS narrative carried forward this week with the release of the cool couplet of “Running” & “Vanishing Point”, featured on the eponymous Vanishing Point EP, that finds them breaking new canonical ground for themselves that the rest of the world is still slowly beginning to discover & realize.

Embarking upon some new cinematic heights, PANGS entertain their inner-Ennio Morricone & more with “Running” that rides like a stranger in a new town taking in the new sights, scenes & sentiments that come with a protagonist’s arrival into a new world. Desperado harmonicas, slow galloping percussion signatures & mysterious atmospheric effects surround the emotion affected chords that offer exposition of inner observations. “Running” runs a gamut of classic & contemporary film-fancies that totally distorts the linear time-continuum quicker than you can ask what year is this? as we are lead to the last dance call of “Vanishing Point”. With a sedated rock & roll waltz for destitute lovers & their paramours to steal away with another into cover of the crowd, stumbling & stepping in time to the rhythms & harmonies. “Vanishing Point” is a dance for the wallflowers, the discarded & the disaffected that still seek some sort of genuine connection or an exit door of escapist escapades into the veil of eternal evening. PANGS take the listener to those places where the land dead ends & the feeling of a new world or dimension opens up to envelop the protagonists in their illicit rendezvous that finds some sort of sky sailing solace beyond the ruby velvet curtains that hold an entrance to the unknown.

PANGS’ Lindsay Johns introduced their new singles to us with the following exclusive insights:

We were pleased to discover that these two unusual songs really work together. There’s something cinematic about them, and a kind of eccentric melancholy that seems appropriate for the change in seasons. Nick and I have been experimenting with song structure lately, which can be challenging. But we really found something we love in the little vocal prelude to the chorus in “Running”. It’s all very cinematic; lovely and desperately melancholy all at once. Was fascinating to go there with these. “Running” actually came out of us working on a cover of The Crying Game, Dave Berry’s 1964 version. It quickly took on its own identity, wandering into this enchanting acoustic soundscape that we adore and feels unlike anything else of ours. We were also listening a lot to Rhino’s box set Girl Group Sounds which probably informed some of “Vanishing Point”, so it really just worked out beautifully that these two songs found each other.

PANGS’ Vanishing Point EP is available now.

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