Meet Panther Hollow–a NYC based (but Pittsburgh inspired) band giving you chills with their sultry and sweet sounds. A folk/rock band that sings about everything in life, from love to your daily coffee break. Comprised of four friends who met while studying at NYU, these guys have all the cool and bittersweetness of the big apple, combined with the grittiness and friendliness of the steel city!
They’re currently gearing up to release their debut EP, People Synesthesia, which will be coming out May 31st! We are so lucky to be able to share with you the single off the EP “Jamie”–filled to the brim with acoustic guitar that’ll soothe your soul and lyrics that’ll charm your pants off. So, take a listen!
Also, we were able to have a little chat with frontman of Panther Hollow, Bernardo–so after and/or while you listen to the new single “Jamie” (below) make sure to read the interview and learn all about the band!
As a Pittsburgher/yinzer myself, are we talking the Panther Hollow shortcut in Oakland where that tunnel lets out? If so, I know I have some fond childhood memories from there, why is it significant to you guys?
Bernardo: Oh brother, I think it might be the same place? I’m talking about the Panther Hollow Lake and the trails around it. The other guys in the project aren’t from Pittsburgh, but it was kind of silently at the center of my life (georgraphically) while I grew up. I thought it would be a cool title to use to organize the music I write.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Has that affected how you write music today?
Bernardo: I listened to a lot of stuff my parents listened to, Joan Baez, The Beatles, Peter Paul & Mary, Silvio Rodriguez, Mercedes Sosa. Then I got a little bit older and got into Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and more contemporary acts like Gorillaz and The Strokes. I was also really influenced by the scene in Pittsburgh, the same scene that hardcore rockers Code Orange came out of.
How did you all meet and come to form Panther Hollow?
Bernardo: We met at NYU – we all studied music–Dan and I did Composition, Matti and Evan did Jazz. One day I called up Dan and Matti because by chance I got a spot to open for Ripe (believe it or not) a couple years back. Evan started playing with us more and more as time went on until he just became a part of the band. And that’s pretty much how things started.
Did you have a vision for the band when you first started, or are you seeing where it goes organically
Bernardo: We’re all in different projects – we didn’t set out with the goal to take over the world or anything. We ended up really enjoying playing music together, and I want to make sure we get to keep on getting the chance to do that.
Tell me about this track “Jamie” from you upcoming EP People Synesthesia, what inspired it melodically & lyrically?
Bernardo: Ooh, I might be too embarrassed for this one – as far as lyrics go it’s about imagining what a person is like while not actually knowing a whole lot about them. Melodically that’s just what that feeling sounds like (subjectively) to me.
What has the creative process in making this EP been like for you guys?
Bernardo: It’s been nice and relaxed. I didn’t write any of these songs thinking about where they would end up, and some of them are almost four years old now (coincidentally “Jamie” is the youngest). We also didn’t have a set recording date – “Office” was recorded in Matti’s basement (along with “HannaLee,” which hasn’t been released yet), “Jamie” was recorded in my room, and the other two tracks (“Coffee Cups” and “Cowboy”) were recorded in Studio 510 at NYU Clive Davis for our friend Andrew Campbell’s school project. A lot of the recent work for the EP has been mixing and producing it, which involves Matti and I sitting in front of a screen trying different things until everything sits right.
Are there any common themes that run throughout the entire EP?
Bernardo: So, organizing this has been kind of fun because everything’s already there. I met someone while playing a show with my other band, Modern Diet, in Vermont who actually has people synesthesia (she involuntarily ascribes certain colors to certain people) and I liked that concept so much that I decided to take it. These songs are loosely about people, fictional and non-fictional, and the auras that engulf them and everyone around them.
What about this follow-up EP, Atoms In The Universe, what are you doing differently with it
Bernardo: Atoms is kind of the same deal as People where we’ve been sitting on some songs (old & new) that we’ve decided to organize, but it’s going to be a lot more focused. I don’t want to say too much, but we have a studio date set for it and will hopefully be working with our artist friends on some visuals for it. I’m very excited to see how it all turns out!
What’s in store for the future of Panther Hollow?
Bernardo: Well, we’ve got this studio date coming up, People Synesthesia comes out on May 31st, and we want to go on tour next year – for now we have a couple of show dates coming up and I’m never running out of lists of awesome people I want to play with, and awesome places I want to play. I’d love to find someone who wants to work with us to press vinyl! We’ll see where it all takes us.