Brighton, United Kingdom
A strange and wonderful sound that blends pop, synth, and rock with jazzy stylings lies at the foundation of OneNamedPeter’s latest album, ‘Pan’. An explorative adventure that spans from here to there and straight on ‘till morning. With a brilliant musical ear for detail, OneNamedPeter soothes us with soft tones and slow songs that speak of adventure or lost love. They pick up the pace with songs about being a lost boy and songs that capture the free-spirited Pan at highs and lows. It’s not an album built on a gimmick. ‘Pan’ is a solid rock/pop offering that is seasoned to perfection with hints of the folktale favourite. Bring on more from OneNamedPeter I say, whose sound is joyous and transporting.
The album opens with ‘Heart Of Stone’ a song that introduces us to the ‘Pan’ sound. Spacey pads fill up the backspace as rich bass peddles in the mid-lows. Stabs of synth-like percussion sketch out stars and constellations before the beat kicks in and the song begins to move. Electric dance drums meet chill electric guitar, creating a fitting bed for the conversational vocal that tells a story as it goes. The chorus builds and layers in faster bass and synths as the song kicks up and opens up the rest of ‘Pan’ for us.
‘Blue Boy’ follows on. Its piano and cymbals come together to create a solemn song that carries the weight of all of OneNamedPeter’s emotions thus far. It's a great pace change from ‘Heart Of Stone’, the experimental use of dance drums to break up sections remains and it's refreshing in the gloom. ‘Scorched Earth’ follows suit, carrying the melancholy of ‘Blue Boy’ but adding a poppier melody and bringing back those textural electric rhythms. A shorter song that slides from section to section, each feels different and uses a mix of organic and electric instruments to build a soundscape that is thick like the jungles of Neverland.
‘Let It Rain’ is folky and full of brilliant bass lines and interesting chord changes that bring forth memories of early Oasis. Add some strings and ‘Let It Rain’ comes into its own. Don’t forget those trademark synths and dance drums. As the album grows it builds on these techniques of layering in percussion alongside synth to add girth and texture. It works and it allows for OneNamedPeter to create endlessly diverse tracks within one album. The buildup is over, let ‘Pan’ sing. ‘Never Never’ rings out with its syncopated drums and bright piano. Horns and vocals tie together to tell the story of the album through a rocking, almost country, fresco. ‘The Lost Boys’ follows on. It's dark and rich, has a great open that I could listen to on loop for hours. When the vocals drop in it's a shift into a Bowie-like tune that is my pick for the single. It builds and crashes and houses some stellar melodies that fill that dark synth niche. Truly a track to sink your teeth into.
The album begins to wind down. ‘Alchemy’ is a new wave rock with some folk influence. It's modern and its lyrics add a melodic throughline for the chaotic percussion to follow. It's dynamic and it introduces beats that we haven’t heard on the album, even this late in the game OneNamedPeter is experimenting and adding new ideas, making ‘Pan’ one hell of a rich album. ‘Wings’ would be my single B-Side. It's a ballad crossed with a pop song and it makes for great listening. A catchy chorus mixed with some great keyboard playing.
‘Pan’ closes out with ‘Under Your Skin’. A track that’s full of modern instrumental feelings and dance percussion. It gets you moving and it will definitely make you remember this album. OneNamedPeter has honed in a sound that is wide and all-encompassing with ‘Pan’. The album is a showcase of not only a story,
but what it means to people and what great stories can make people do. Above all, it’ll make you never want to grow up. No, not ever. On, to Neverland!