Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to “Can’t Imagine”, the latest single from Netherlands artist, “I Panic”.
Can’t Imagine follows the emotions of a relationship reaching its twilight moments. The song deals with the inevitable grief and one’s attempts to deal with it.
Starting very gently with distant panned electric guitar and “telephone” filtered percussion with piano, the song feels just a touch like Linkin Park. As it progresses and the vocals are added, the piano comes to the foreground a little more and the distant percussion continues, with extra percussion being added all the time.
Then all of a sudden, you’re straight into a full band sound with a powerful chorus. Anthemic organs come into the mix and you’re treated to some exciting and interesting drum patterns. At this point in the song, we were very much reminded of the solo work of Marillion’s Fish. There is a touch of David Bowie in the vocal delivery as well. At times, the song has the drama of music theatre. This is a passionate performance on vocals from “I Panic” and the imperfections of a vocal line being recorded in just a couple of takes, all add to the excitement and “realness” of the performance.
Can’t Imagine builds to an epic climax with swirling organs and busy drums with a belted vocal line over the top before dropping back to almost nothing again to close the track out.
From a production perspective, a couple of EQ cuts in the vocal track at 150-200Hz and again at 650-700Hz would reduce some ‘boomy’ and ‘honky’ tones and a wide boost in the vocal track centred around 8kHz would give it a bit more presence and definition too. A single band compressor in the top two octaves on the main mix with some make up gain would help to control the peaks caused by sibilance in the vocal track as well. A cut around 100Hz when the full band sound comes in will reduce a slight peak and balance out the low end. Finally, a light compressor with some make up gain on the whole mix would raise the overall volume in the quieter parts a bit more.
Can’t Imagine is a track which shows some huge songwriting promise and a vocal delivery which will draw out every emotion you can think of. We cannot wait to hear more from this talented Netherlands artist.