Panda Riot
Northern Automatic Music
Saint Marie Records
Release Date: 2/19/13

Panda Riot’s new album Northern Automatic Music is the kind of album you pop into your car right before setting off on an exciting road trip. It’s ethereal vocals on most of the tracks in combination with the soothing tones coming from the rest of the band bring the listener to an introspective place and inevitably works to put you in a great mood.  Furthermore, with the ethereal feel most of the tracks possess, it’s an album that seems like it would be best enjoyed in the elements, which is why it would make for a great road trip soundtrack.

The fifth track on the album, “Golden Age”, has a slower beat that makes you feel as though you should be sitting outside in the snow while flakes slowly fall down and land on your face. It’s short and doesn’t contain any lyrics, but you can hear Rebecca Scott’s voice carrying the beat. It’s these short, instrumental tracks that are dispersed among the album that really caught my attention and brought my ears in. Another track on the album like this is “Someday, Someone Will Wake You From This Nighttime.” It sounds like a song you would want to listen to after a sad breakup because while it induces contemplation, the soft bass and strumming drums won’t let you fall into a deep darkness. The vocals are soft on this track as well but it’s another great gem on the album.

Here is the video for their awesome single, Black Pyramids

Throughout the album the group will take you into a light and airy state, but wake you up right after with a track that snaps your mind back into reality. They do this nicely with “Good Night, Rich Kids.” It comes right after “Someday” and the heavy guitar and darker beat forces you to snap out of that contemplative state and listen to the vocals. This track was a bit different from the others on the album, but was pleasant all the same. Often times the album takes on spooky and dark turns only to come back with their light and airy sound.

In their bio it states that Panda Riot started out working on short films, and slowly their soundtracks turned into songs. I can feel that soundtrack base pretty heavily on this album and think that many of the tracks would do very well as part of a soundtrack to a movie. Northern Automatic Music is great to listen to when contemplating life, setting off on a road trip, running through the snow or just as intriguing music during your day.  Its ethereal vibe will certainly appeal to ears of all tastes.

You can purchase their album from their label, Saint Marie Records right here:

Nicole Nicholson