Indie rocker Mary Broadcast reveals both elation and devastation in her remarkable new EP Panic. While the title suggests a universal feeling, an anxious tone or fear of the unknown, Broadcast can claim victory in easing her listener into an emotionally fulfilling sonic experience. Paired with the six songs are six equally-magnetic short films that continue a storyline. The actors, the music, the imagery – all of it makes for a complete, satisfying escape. Where uncertainties and confidences meet at a crossroad – Broadcast drives the listener into her imaginative world that feels all too real.
From the opening “Panic” to the closing “Aver”, Broadcast wears her heart on her sleeve. The songs are innovative and even though they are not done acoustically, she cuts through the noise like a stripped-down orchestration. “Panic” and “Zone 4” have moments of folly, as if the mood and tones are full of laughter and pure happiness. I liken these songs (without watching the videos) to confronting the day – the beauty all around you. In “Panic” there is also a sense of isolation. It’s not quite suffocating, but Broadcast sings with such zest and conviction, the mood is that of being overwhelmed.
“Zone 4” seems to focus on the interaction behind closed doors or trying to communicate with the world with a screen or phone. In the music video, a woman (played by actress Clara Diem; Deim, along with actor Klemens Dellacher, appears in all six videos), engages in an online dance challenge. She gets a high from the interaction, the adulation from online fans.
The music builds, and the listener is stunned with the electronica and grooving tones. It’s an almost industrial rock – almost what you might imagine coming from Depeche Mode. Broadcast sings, the world is on a hype, the choices are unending blank spots in front of you, lost identity. She also repeats the word ‘naked’ with special emphasis. Her voice is so intriguing.
“Bastille”, or Episode 3, has a more prominent, stickier percussion arrangement. I’m not positive, but it almost sounded like a drum machine. This is a song all about love and meeting ‘the one’. Taking on the word Bastille has such an interesting connotation – there’s a reckoning, an arsenal. The way Broadcast toys with the phrasing, you know that you know, that I know, that you know, that I know, that you know, that we’re knowing, uh, you know is clever and cute.
Episode 4 is called “Sing It” and Episode 5 is “Bazar”. The love story continues and finds the listener wrestling alongside Broadcast’s emotions. Finally, “Aver”, a song that gives Broadcast an alter ego and touches upon the idea of surrendering is visceral and tangible. Things seem so hopeless and lost. She has experienced a miscarriage and that just seems so horrible. Still, in Broadcast’s voice there is love and hope. She plays on the word ‘veil’ and we as listeners discover that while there is darkness, there will be light again. The veil will be lifted. A brooding bass, and Broadcast’s strong vocals make this last track one that steers itself to the listener. A weight has almost been lifted.
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