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Panda Transport – “Monorail” Review

Monorail is the new 6 track EP from Panda Transport and I can confirm that it is rather fantastic. The duo fuse alternative pop electronica with random extras to create a fun.

Opening with the title track, is a groovy cloud-infused piece of dream-pop that you’d be quite happy riding to work via country lanes on your bicycle to, smiling and tipping your hat to all whom pass you. It’s just delightfully upbeat and fun. I could see it opening a Japanese Animation actually.

“Saint Revel” is the song currently gaining exposure via Grey’s Anatomy and is a little more laid back and chilled out with some fantastic vocal layering and sweet electric piano with a Sitar section! How can you lose? Panda Transport’s ability to carry off placing random instruments into a relatively standard track to make it stand completely out from the crowd is one of their key assets.

“Up The Disco” is a more a lighter-swinging track as its more subdued despite its percussive bangs and while its less immediately gratifying than the previous tracks the chorus riff will stick around in your head after a few listens.

“Freak Show” is cute. From the xylophone to warping electric noises to the mariba-esque percussion, it tippy-toes about with children’s movie overtones and then bursts into a lounge jazz piece like something from the Katamari games. I actually really like the way how the whole song shifts into a more slinky mood and it certainly stands out.

“Cicadas in Stereo” see’s Kathy step down from vocals and Ti step up for a French song full of cuteness that verges on Pikmin style music. Think Jazz gone to the circus with a gallon of icing on top. The closer is “Dark Horse” is as close to a downbeat ballad as you’re going to get. Quite minimal and vocal fronted, it works really well with solomn church bells and low hummings setting the mood and is a welcome change from the other very uptempo numbers.

Monorail is a great introduction to a duo that are prepared to take a chance by going for a different approach everytime and merging things together you wouldn’t nessacarily sit together and making it work. I expect to hear of more great things from Panda Transport in the years to come as the alt-electro-pop genre continues to gather strength and popularity.

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