The Panama Scots: Staged Reality – debut EP from Derby indie rock band

Debut EPs are often tricky. You typically have just 15 short minutes to turn heads in your direction and build a following who will stay tuned-in to future work – no mean feat. But Derby indie quartet The Panama Scots have displayed exactly how to achieve this with Staged Reality, released last September but still well worth playing on repeat as we head into spring and summer.

Staged Reality is very much a summertide collection of songs. Opener I Wish I Could teases you with 10 seconds of near-silence at the start before bursting into an emphatically upbeat rhythm that you can’t help but smile and nod along with. Misspent Youth ostensibly channels chirpy west-coast indie optimism, even as the band wax lyrical about the end of summer and days gone by.

Throughout, the instrumentation is top-notch. It’s hard not to dream of lolling festival crowds rocking along to the sublime guitar riffs and swaggering drums of the swaying, confessional jam You, Me and a bottle of Gin. Meanwhile, the quite superb guitar solos littered throughout Misspent Youth and Ignorance is Bliss grab your attention with their sheer evocative power.

But the real stand-out from the crowd – and the reason I feel I’ll be following this band so intently from now-on – is the surprisingly touching Sydney (Where did it all go wrong?). Opening as any other buoyant indie flick, with wonderfully uplifting strums and drums, the track quickly divulges into one of heartache and regret. Despite this, the band never lose their stride and, despite the rather despondent subject matter, you come out of the song feeling overwhelmingly optimistic.

Of course, that is exactly where I am with The Panama Scots. Although Staged Reality may be their only EP and is just five short songs long, it showcases everything we need to know about the band going forward. They’re exciting, dynamic, touching, and most of all effortlessly upbeat across the EP’s 16-minute runtime. It’s a release that leaves you craving more, and one that has me very excited for what the band produce next in the coming months. Give Staged Reality a listen and let The Panama Scots become your new favourite band too.

Staged Reality by The Panama Scots is available on Bandcamp now.

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