Credit: Mitch O’Neill
Panama’s brand new HOPE FOR SOMETHING EP is arguably singer-songwriter Jarrah McCleary’s richest and most moving work yet. A 5-track journey of confessional story-telling that navigates turmoil and peace; his latest work is warm, nostalgic, and rich. McCleary sings, writes, produces and plays on the record, beautifully blending live and electronic sounds that equip him with a musical palette to paint each and every element; from writing at the piano to the ultimate last touch in the studio.
Panama’s second single from the EP, “Undertow”, marks the passing of a loved one and the onerous feeling of trying to hold onto them despite them being gone. It’s a floating, dreamy journey underpinned by driving drums, clambering synths, and harmonious hooks that give it a stirring, anthemic quality.
“Undertow” follows the EP title track “Hope For Something”, a song about a battle with yourself, and proved therapeutic for McCleary. Unsurprisingly, since its release, the message has resonated far and wide. The track was premiered by Pigeons & Planes and Milk, and since release in late April has clocked over 1 million streams, hit #1 on Hype Machine and landed itself in Spotify Viral Charts across Australia, NZ, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Ireland.
Throughout the rest of the EP, McCleary touches on the complexities of relationships, communication and deeply missing the one you love, each song drawing from his personal stories.
The lyrics are real and the emotion can be thick, to the point where I struggled with some of the songs because of how naked they are to me. The positive tone of the EP seems to be the counter weight of the darker things I was experiencing when writing this project. I always draw upon personal experiences when I’m writing. It’s that fine line between truth and poetry. For the production this time around, I was able to work with Classixx and also Filip (Poolside), who were great to bounce ideas off in the studio.
– PANAMA’s Jarrah McCleary