(Make Me A) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 114: Panic Pocket

Panic Pocket (©Carl Farrugia)

Panic Pocket are long-term BFFs Sophie Peacock (synth and vocals) and Natalie Healey (guitar and vocals). They formed the band in 2017 for London’s First Timers Festival and soon became a DIY sensation, releasing their debut EP Never Gonna Happen with Reckless Yes in 2019.
Panic Pocket are recognised for their cathartic musical storytelling, wry sense of humour and undeniable charm. For their first album, Mad Half Hour (out tomorrow, May 26th), the British duo have found a new home at Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey’s Skep Wax. Expect indie-punk-pop exuberance, monster hooks, killer harmonies and lyrics that are so truthful they hurt. “Me and Rob first heard Panic Pocket during lockdown and played their first single again and again.” says Skep Wax co-founder Amelia Fletcher (Heavenly/Catenary Wires/Swansea Sound) of their newest signing. “We were delighted that they wanted to do their first album with us – and agreed to play live with us at the Heavenly shows in May. Panic Pocket know how to turn anger and humour into brilliant pop songs.”

What they say:We’re so proud of Mad Half Hour and excited that it’s finally out there — on beautiful baby pink vinyl to boot! A lot of the songs are about feeling alienated and at odds with life’s accepted milestones. But the album’s also about trying to forge your own path and have fun doing so. We hope listeners find it cathartic and empowering.

“Mad Half Hour is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a 90s icon who turned ‘Girl Power’ into a slogan. Sure, this might not have been the revolutionary feminist moment the music industry tried to package it as. But for millions, Panic Pocket included, it was an awakening.  Mad Half Hour turns these conflicted feelings into a joyous anthem about the power of nostalgia and contemplates what happens when the pop party is over and everyone moves on. As the music video shows, sometimes the key to your most authentic self is found in the dressing-up box.”

Their Mixtape:

Natalie’s picks

Arxx – The Last Time

Arxx are a powerful duo from Brighton, UK. They sound HUGE and all their songs are ridiculously catchy with smart lyrics. You must check out their recent album, Ride or Die, if you haven’t already. It’s one of my albums of the year. ‘The Last Time’ is a fantastic queer breakup song – a total banger you won’t get out of your head.


Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock n Roll

An oldie but a goodie! Sophie and I love Prefab Sprout, a British band from the 80s who wrote catchy, complex, and wholly original songs. The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll is an obvious choice, but it never fails to make me smile. Could it have influenced Panic Pocket’s ‘Woodwork’, where a frog emoji has a starring role? We couldn’t possibly say.

That Dog – He’s Kissing Christian

That Dog are a big Panic Pocket influence. We love playful, sardonic, power-pop 90s songs that could soundtrack a teen movie. ‘He’s Kissing Christian’ is a brilliant, catchy tune about an unrequited crush – and we love songs about unrequited crushes! Particularly enjoy the backing vocals and violin on this track too.

Tugboat Captain – Like Caroline

Tugboat Captain are one of the most exciting bands right now. If you get a chance to see them live, don’t wait around! Their energy is something else. ‘Like Caroline’ is a recent single that really resonates because it’s about a part of London (Brockley) where Sophie and I used to live together (and where we wrote the majority of the songs for Mad Half Hour).

Sophie’s picks:

Liz Phair – Divorce Song

Nat and I have been longterm Liz Phair fans, and getting to see her live in 2019 was a definite bucket list item for us. I love her unapologetically blunt lyrics, the grungy tinge to her early records, and her ability to turn out some legendary bangers. I hope she never stops!

Molly Nilsson – I Hope You Die

Another big musical crush from Nat and I and a definite influence on Panic Pocket, this song takes no prisoners lyrically and has a moody apathy to it that is just a bit too cool. Nat and I have been to see her several times live, and this brings me fond memories of those times in our twenties


Windhand – Two Urns

Over the last couple of years my musical tastes have grown to include a lot more heavy music – I’m having my culturally rebellious puberty rather late. Windhand are a female-fronted stoner doom metal band, and this opening track to their third album is my favourite song to turn up Too Loud and Wail Aggressively to.

Carrie Coon, Mackenzie Davis and Andrew BrassellAxemen

This cover of riot grrrl pioneers Heavens to Betsy’s ‘Axemen’ (an absolute stonker in its own right) comes from the 2018 film Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town, a movie which sits in one of our fave genres – indie movie about dysfunctional and only semi-likeable women. Carrie and Mackenzie, already two of our fave actors, play sisters with a fractured relationship who are co-erced into performing a duet for the family, just like they used to do in their youth – they reluctantly oblige. The pitch-perfect performance put a lump in my throat, made the hairs on my neck stand up, and it now sits in my regular rotation playlist as a firm favourite.

Mad Half Hour will be out tomorrow, May 26th on Skep Wax Records. Look HERE for more information on Panic Pocket.


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