Panic Years is: Edward Everett & Amy Miller
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About The Band:
In a short time, Panic Years has gained much attention from local press and radio. Additionally, the band has received airplay on over 200 radio stations nationally, garnering the term “radio darlings” from Philadelphia Weekly. In 2011 they shared bills with The Airborne Toxic Event, Atomic Tom, and The Naked and Famous, among others.
About the New Album (Available June 12, 2012):
On their debut full-length album, The Month’s Mind, Philadelphia-based indie band Panic Years examine the concept of mortality – not just what it means to die, but more importantly, what it means to live. The gravity of the question is complemented by a mix of lush arrangements and memorable melodies, creating a symbiotic backdrop to a story of loss, grief, and hope.
For Madmen Only
A narrative album, The Month’s Mind holds a carefully-curated collection of songs – musical chapters – influenced by loss. Struggling to find order in the death of loved ones, the band’s singer, Edward Everett, gravitated to the literary arts, and Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf in particular. The concepts of dualism, spirituality, and existentialism in this novel are similarly explored in the lyrics and musical compositions on the album. Panic Years thus follows in the footsteps of bands that have drawn inspiration from literature, including The Cure (Albert Camus, The Stranger), Neutral Milk Hotel (The Diary of Anne Frank), Muse (George Orwell, 1984), and Pink Floyd (George Orwell, Animal Farm).
While the inspiration to write was drawn from literature, the album’s concept and title, The Month’s Mind, is motivated by the antiquated Catholic funeral ceremony still practiced by some today. The ceremony is held one month after a person’s death. “The days leading up to the ceremony are called ‘minding days.’ Days of reflection and introspection” says Everett. “The Month’s Mind itself is a day of celebration. I envisioned each track as a minding day. Each one a mixed emotion or new revelation, climaxing in celebration and closing with peace of mind.” The result is creative resiliency: with The Month’s Mind, Everett has drafted his own “Treatise on the Steppenwolf.”
Lyrics in hand, Everett pressed the band to read Steppenwolf before collaborating on the composition and recording. “After reading the book, the melodies behind the lyrics started to take shape,” recalls guitarist Amy Miller. “We took care in making sure the music complemented the lyrics. The themes and prose presented in the book will inevitably put you in a state of reflection and exploration, and I think the album shows that.”
Exploration was a key component of the recording process. The band spent two months recording in Everett’s basement in South Philly. Free of the pressure of a pay-by-the-hour studio, they took time to experiment and refine the tones, instrumentation, and arrangement of each song.
The result was “unlike anything we’ve previously recorded,” says bassist Adam Smith. “We wanted to use a combination of synths and real instruments. We found string players, a French horn player and other instrumentalists who were able to come into the studio and record the full, textured sound we envisioned for the album.”