Last December we invited a handful of friends by our place for a holiday version of our Bands and Brews Sessions, teaming up with the good folks at Glassnote Records on a festive bill that included synthy, indie popsters Panama Wedding. These were close quarters...we squeezed the band in to a cozy corner in the back of the room so we could pack as many friends into the basement as possible. The result was something that resembled a college party, though the band provided a supremely polite vibe with their luscious acoustic renditions of songs from their new EP, Parallel Play. No kegs were harmed being tossed across the room. Instead, we give youb a behind the scenes look at the festivities, showcasing 5 songs and a bit of our interview with singer Peter Kirk. Enjoy.
If you fly to Panama all by yourself All by yourself If you leave tomorrow they're all gonna smile All gonna smile You wait, you wait, you waaait You wait, you wait, you waaait We can throw our secrets out of the sound at night While you wait, you wait, you waaait If you fly to Panama all by yourself All by yourself You leave tomorrow they're all gonna smile All gonna smile You wait, you wait, you wait You wait, you wait, you wait We can throw our secrets out on the sound at night While you wait, you wait, you wait I've been spending all this time Waiting the hours 'round for you The mirror's staring back at me - So you guys just played The Baeble Basement for Bands and Brews. How did you like playing a kegger party? - It was great, kind of reminded me a little bit of college. Obviously it's good to play small clubs. We're on tour and play like a lot of big rooms. So it's always good to feel the people, feel the energy. This was great. - You know what? I have to admit that I was so scared that I was going to announce you guys as Panama City. So has anyone ever really messed up the name or announced you guys wrong? - I've heard Panama Weekend. I've heard Panama City before. Luckily, it has been that bad but I can understand why people would get wrong. - But do you correct them or you just run with it? - I run with it. At least Panama Wedding is I think somewhat memorable. We could throw our secrets out on the sound at night While you wait, you wait, you wait You wait, you wait, you wait - Thank you Baeble. Could be something else Could something else if I couldn't see Could be space or the time we'd need And the ways I need your faith in with me Is it the time of year Is it the time that we left it all Or be caught in the midnight fall And the night when we felt younger then Let it out now If it's something you say Come on breakdown Cause you know in many ways we are losing All these feelin's that we can't speak Eye-to-eye to each other And trust whether we go it this time Oh, can we be more than friends Cause I got my money on you tonight Trust I was just livin' a lie This time I just can't pretend Cause I got my money on you tonight Is it this all out, or is this so strange How we cry How we talk How we break down How we change Tonight you know I need your faith in me Is it the time of year? Is it the time again. You left it all Are we caught in the midnight fall? And tonight you know we felt younger again Let it out now Is it somethin' you say Come on breakdown Cause you know in many ways We are losing All these feelin's that we can't speak Eye-to-eye to each other And trust whether we go it this time Oh, can we be more than friends Cause I got my money on you tonight Trust I was just livin' a lie But this time I just can't pretend Cause I got my money on you tonight Oh, if I fall Oh, if I fall down upon my knees Oh, if I fall down upon my knees Would save me from here? Would you save me from here? And trust Where are we going this time Oh, can we be more than friends Cause I got my money on you tonight Trust I was just livin' a lie This I just can't pretend Cause I got my money on you tonight - Thank you. I get home sick a little bit. I think when you're on tour you're with people all the time. I think it's just you long for your own personal space and solitary breathing room. That's what I think I miss the most. But I mean it's great. I think it's always good to connect with old friends in different cities that you wouldn't normally go to. And touring brings you to these cities that you'd never probably ever go to. The last tour I went to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Great city. I don't know why I'd ever go there. Vancouver, British Columbia another one. I think I really love touring. But to answer your question I think you do miss your regular routine and being by yourself sometimes. - I mean I totally get that. Having private space, and time to think and stuff. But I also feel being on road probably gives a lot of inspiration for songs or it gives you ideas and time to write. - Yeah, a little bit. We had a brief run in the UK. And I don't know what it was but just being in London and being in different areas of England. I just felt more inspired to work on music and to write something. There's just a different vibe there. It's a little hard to record on tour. It's hard carving out time to write. But certainly experiencing new things and being out of your element could really spark some interesting ideas. Why you hide it Oooo my The world is a cryin' Oooo my Oh, I wish I didn't love you but I do... Oooo my Oooo my you better watch what you say Oooo my When you're talkin' that way Oooo my Oh, I wish I didn't love you but I do... We were hoping for a better way to explain it But we did not after all, all, all, all There's a Cadillac parked on 32nd Avenue Shinning headlights on your door Oh, ah, ah Oooo my Why you hide it Oooo my World is a cryin' Oooo my Oh, I wish I didn't love you but I do... Oooo my Better watch what you're say Oooo my When you're talkin' that way Oooo my Oh, I wish I didn't love you but I do... - Thank you. News day cover page meant the killer isn't done The county chief in Gilgo Beach found another one As we stood in our house burn beneath the sun We thought all this time growing up yet we still feel young Oh it feels just like summer time we're all fading away All I know is that I won't be home tonight, oh child Oh and I'm feeling lazy my heart is beating now I got a feeling maybe we'll run away tonight You know that I feel TV weather line meant the storm would be awhile On a rainy day we were caught in shame with the score board tied As we sat in our seats waiting for the rain to lighten up We spent all night long Holding out for that one last run Oh it feels just like summer time we're all fading away All I know is that I won't be home tonight oh child Oh and I'm feeling lazy my heart is beating now I got a feeling maybe we're on our way tonight You know that I feel and though I see the morning My heart is beating loud I got a feeling baby we'll run away tonight Sometimes I can't tell the ocean from the sky Or the way the silver clouds touch the land fall down on the horizon line I wanna kiss you now but baby I don't mean goodbye I wanna set all the lights like a movie scene where we go tonight I wanna set all the lights like a movie scene ... - So let's talk about your EP. - We put out an EP recently called Parallel Play. And I think it's been really good for us because we released our single All The People which got a lot of attention online. But it's great to introduce some new songs and different kind of vibes to our fans. And Uma's done very well. People seemed to like that, and Trust and Feels Like Summer. Hopefully, it's enough to keep people kind of satisfied until we put out a full one. Babe, Well aren't we a little bit old now For this crazy game? Is it safe now That winter's gone? But I think we could use a little memory to add to the database I saved a little bit of money I put it in the vault Hidden behind the face on the red room wall I took everything I wanted I took everything I need All in a day or maybe they just want me to leave All of the people All of the people stand Standing to wait Waiting for the concrete to break All of the people All of the people take Take it away You know maybe you just made me believe And the days The days feel a little bit longer now And the morning's bright If we escape now and leave this place I hope heaven has another open door for us When the day is getting late I saved a little bit of money I put it in a vault Hidden behind the face on the red room wall I took everything I wanted I took everything I need All in a day or maybe they just want me to leave All of the people All of the people stand Standing to wait Waiting for the concrete to break All of the people All of the people take Take it away You know maybe you just made me believe Woke up late, still half asleep But the airport line, out in the street Baby I know you wanted to stay But the weekend rush won't let us wait Woke up late, still half asleep But the airport line's still out in the street Baby I know you wanted to stay But the weekend rush won't let us wait All of the people All of the people stand Standing to wait Waiting for the concrete to break All of the people All of the people take Take it away You know maybe you just made me believe - Thank you guys. Thanks a lot.
Panama Wedding has quickly established itself as one of the most promising rising indie artists with "All Of The People," a deliriously joyful pop single that has been hailed by music outlets around the globe and has earned over 1 million plays on Soundcloud. But Peter Kirk, the New York-based mastermind behind Panama Wedding, is not dwelling upon the buzz garnered from his musical outfit's breakthrough track; instead, Kirk is preparing a rich career full of expertly crafted songs that defy categorization, and a live show that grows more muscular as his audiences swell. "All Of The People" is an enduring anthem and envious first act, but Kirk -- newly signed to Glassnote Records and readying his debut LP -- has much more up his sleeve.
Kirk's success as Panama Wedding comes after a lifetime of tinkering with different sounds: as a classically trained pianist growing up in Long Island's Oyster Bay, Kirk made a habit of recording songs in his bedroom with his friends. When he moved to New York City as an adult a few years ago, Kirk rented a studio in midtown Manhattan to continue exploring writing and recording music, if only as a hobby at the time.
Holding down a full-time job, Kirk would plow through 11-hour workdays before heading to his studio and honing a concoction of pop, adult-contemporary and electronic music. "For about two years, I went there every night after work, and would just try to write and record and put together something," recalls Kirk. "At this point, I was just sending music to my friends under my name, rather sheepishly wondering whether or not they would like it. Over time, the responses went from, 'Hey, this isn't bad,' to 'Wow, this is really good!' Then, random friends of friends started reaching out to me independently, asking, 'Who are you? What is this?' They wanted to find out more."
Kirk decided to take his music on the road, and stayed patient while looking for local opportunities. His first gig, at a DIY east Brooklyn venue, was viewed by just one friend in the audience, but Kirk's crowds started growing as he became more comfortable under the bright stage lights. His live setup also evolved from a one-man show with a laptop and keyboard construction into a proper band setup, with a bassist and drummer supporting his expansive vision.
Eventually, Kirk got noticed by Seth Kallen, a Brooklyn-based manager, who suggested that Kirk produce a new version of "All Of The People" and release the polished track as Panama Wedding's debut single. Kallen gave the mixing duties to budding producer Andrew Maury, formerly of RAC, who has worked with bands such as Ra Ra Riot, Givers, and Tegan & Sara. Maury "knocked it out of the park," says Kirk. The new version of "All Of The People" was released online in July 2013 and exploded on impact: the single reached No. 1 on Hype Machine in a week's time, earned raves on tastemaker sites like Indie Shuffle, Neon Gold, and Crack In The Road while earning thousands of streams in a matter of hours.
After a string of acclaimed sold-out performances during the CMJ Music Marathon in fall of 2013, Kirk finalized a deal with Glassnote Records, aligning Panama Wedding with the company behind best-selling artists like Mumford & Sons, Phoenix and CHVRCHES, among many others. 2014 was a very busy year for Kirk taking Panama Wedding to a successful run at SXSW, sold-out performances opening for St. Lucia, a full U.S. tour with RAC & Dan Croll, and multiples festivals during the summer - all before releasing his highly successful debut EP, 'Parallel Play' which garnered Panama Wedding's second No. 1 Hype Machine song with "Uma" and has accumulated over 8 million streams on Spotify to date.
After a coveted late night television performance on the Jimmy Kimmel show over the summer, a full tour of the United Kingdom with Dan Croll and a second U.S. tour with Smallpools & Magic Man in the fall of 2014, Kirk is back home in Manhattan readying Panama Wedding for another busy year finishing the debut LP for release later this year.
"There's a generally hopeful tone to 'All Of The People' -- it was written in the wintertime, and I wanted to reflect that feeling of spring turning into summer," says Kirk of the song, which is built on a foundation of effervescent vocals and opulent synths. "But 'All Of The People' is just one song, and there's this whole other body of songs I've written that I want to focus on and share."