Music critics and fans often say the same thing about The Panics: listening to their songs is like immersing yourself in the soundtrack to your own life. In their albums and EPs, people discover the cinematic score to their own lost Australian summers: the bittersweet Antipodean road-trips where they found first love and made new friends, only to lose it all on the way back. Underneath the elegant pop-rock tracks are modern hymns for a generation, anthems of rash joy and quiet heartbreak: all the songs you would have written yourself, if only you had the right words on hand.

For frontman and songwriter Jae Laffer, it makes complete sense that his listeners have forged those personal connections with the band’s music over the years. After all, The Panics’ albums have always been written as time capsules of the band’s own evolution. Each song is another chapter in the story of their lives, ever since banding together in high school all those years ago in Western Australia.

Since their last album Cruel Guards (2007), The Panics have also been crafting something new: an ambitious album that somehow embraces both stark intimacy and unapologetic grandeur. Written on one side of the Atlantic (Salford, England) and recorded on the other (Woodstock, New York), The Panics are now finished with their fourth record, and have brought it down across the Pacific and back home to Australia.

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