Merging classical and rock with a bit of modern pop is possible, and that is just what baroque rock project Fair Panic did. Fronted by Tory Anne Daines of the Garden State, her debut album Feels is an eclectic album of mixed genres and emotions that gather to illustrate the story of a breakup. Instrument-only, minor-keyed “Processional” sets the tone of the album with the use of wailing violins, and illustrates the storm of heartbreak brewing. Though melodically graceful and uplifting, lyrics of Feels are heavy, offering a glimpse into the world of “combat love” and “lizard queens.” Ranging from full-length songs to bite-sized diatribes, “Interlude” and “Crescendo” reveal the grief of breakups, but also offer listeners advice on letting go of the past and accepting responsibility of the future.
Feels transitions from anger and grief to acceptance and relief, with the song “We’re Through.” As Fair Panic’s debut music video, “We’re Through” begins serious, but ends playfully, illustrating relief and freedom that usually accompanies messy breakups. As Daines is the only person shown in color within the video, this hints at her newfound independence and individuality, showing that she is blossoming. Beginning as a dramatic ballad with classical instruments, “We’re Through,” abruptly transitions into a Beatles-esque march, effortlessly combining classical with rock. Closing the video with a fierce stare and the claiming “I’m finally free and smiling for me,” it is clear to the audience that the emotional rollercoaster is over.
Closing the album, “Recessional” piggybacks off the style of the opening track, bringing the album full-circle. Extremely creative and vivid, Feels is any freshly-broken-hearted individual’s go-to album. Alongside the lyrics, stormy, dreamlike melodies and defined riffs takes the listeners on their own personal journey of uncertainty and solace. Fair Panic does a remarkable job of merging multiple genres, creating a new style that is both interesting and unexpected. As an odyssey of emotions, Feels is an outlet for both the listener seeking support, and the listener seeking a fresh sound.