I was not familiar with London, Ontario’s Pacanomad until I had been introduced to their debut EP Restless. Upon listening to the album several times, I found singer Chantel Rivard to have a voice similar to that of indie pop/rock singer Kate Nash. The opening track “Heaven Can Wait” begins with a basic, and quite frankly, boring riff which carries on throughout the song. With its upbeat pace and hints of blues, it sets a mellow mood for the album. Lyrically, it tells a story of someone contently falling in love. When it came to the breakdown (I would hardly call it that), it was lacking either more vocals or an exciting guitar solo, either way I was left wanting more.
The influence of jazz can be heard when listening to “I Lost You”, while also giving a grungy twist in vocals at the bridge. The chorus quickens in pace with funky riffs and drum fills accompanied by Rivard’s mellifluous voice, seemingly telling a story about losing someone and not knowing how or why it happened. (I was unable to make out the lyrics, even after many listens.)
“Restless”, which titles the album, slowed things down, and I didn’t mind at all. Rivard sings beautifully about allowing yourself to become vulnerable with someone for the first time. It breaks down into a bluesy guitar solo accompanied by the keyboard, which I loved. The vocals pick back up and there is yet another solo which fades out to end the song, and leaves you completely satisfied. Unfortunately, coming into the next song, “Tell Me Not To Doubt”, left me feeling the complete opposite. Aside from the solo, the song was kind of bland for me, leaving it to be my least favourite track. Having just heard a slower tune, getting into another one just left me feeling bored.
The final track “’Till It’s Mine” is my favourite on the EP. It’s got a mellow, reggae feel to it with an upbeat chorus. It talks about going after something that’s been in front of you the whole time, and not giving up until it’s yours. This song is fun and ended my experience on a positive note. Overall, while listening to this album I could picture myself studying in a cafe, sipping a latte, tuning in and out to the music in the background. Unfortunately, that’s all it was for me though – background noise. If you’re into blues and jazz inspired music to set a mellow mood, then this is right up your alley.
Written by Jamie Markell