A surge of bright and bouncy indie pop hits the ears as Cj Pandit’s debut EP ‘Just Before You Disappear’ gets underway, lighting up the room with arena-ready anthems that rise and fall in buoyant waves of effervescent sound.
for fans of The 1975, Walk the Moon, Pale Waves
Stream: “Bad Bad Fun” – Cj Pandit
I wanted to make a soundtrack to change that sounded like a Disney movie. That kind of thing you fall back in to for comfort, or the accompaniment to all your euphoric moments.
A surge of bright and bouncy indie pop hits the ears as CJ Pandit’s debut EP gets underway, lighting up the room with arena-ready anthems that rise and fall in buoyant waves of effervescent sound. Dynamic and dazzling, Just Before You Disappear offers fifteen minutes of electric delights as Leicester’s Cj Pandit makes a swift and lasting first impression.
I was with Jasmine, you were with your uni friends
They all knew we had previous, just a means to an end
But what if we were more than that,
maybe we should run it back
Shall we get a drink to take the edge off?
And find some comfort in the chaos..
I thought we’d moved on (then i heard you say)
I thought we’d moved on (that you think we’ve changed)
I thought we’d moved on (then i head you say)
I’m gonna lose myself tonight
With or without you by my side
– “Bad Bad Fun,” Cj Pandit
Released May 7, 2021 via Faction Records, Just Before You Disappear is a fresh dose of guitar pop charm.
Taking cues from the past ten years’ worth of evocative, emotionally resonant indie pop – from The 1975 and Walk the Moon to Pale Waves, LANY, Bad Suns, and The Neighbourhood – Cj Pandit rockets out of Leicester full of feeling and radiant energy.
“It feels like it’s been this rolling accompaniment to my life over the past two or three years,” Pandit says of his debut. “Something that’s always been there, being nurtured and changed and growing whilst I did the same. It’s places and moments in time. The stories behind the records are the stories from my life, and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind over the past few years. Euphoria, excess, moments of calm and serenity, and finding beauty in the mundanity and normality of our relationships and everyday lives. It feels kinda city-centric to me too, it’s half New York, a little bit London and a little bit of my hometown Leicester. It’s the story of being present in changes, new and ending relationships and the euphoria of those lost summers we all know too well.”
“The vision came alongside the title,” Pandit explains. “I wanted to make a soundtrack to change that sounded like a Disney movie. That kind of thing you fall back in to for comfort, or the accompaniment to all your euphoric moments. A lot of my experiences over the past couple of years have felt fleeting but incredibly powerful so I guess I wanted the music to represent something similar. [“Just Before You Disappear”] feels like the most succinct way to describe a gang of feelings that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I think we all feel it at some point. You know a relationship is ending, and you’re kind of clinging but also watching it disappear and end in real time. I could really feel that intensely over a summer and ended up finding solace and comfort in the act of moving on, and disappearing, and being really present in the little moments that leave the most lasting impression. A kiss as you leave, a little insignificant gift that you still keep in your bag or little scar from an accident in the middle of a night out. These things fade but are always there to remind you of those changing times.”
I hope it’s an honest representation of me as a human being and an artist. Well, I know that it is, so I guess I’ve gotta wait to hear what people think to it and how it fits in to their lives.
Big melodies and cinematic production gives Just Before You Leave a larger-than-life presence, yet its songs are quite intimate and vulnerable – each a reflective slice of life, relationships, connection, and so on.
“I kind of idolize Leonard Cohen’s specificity, and it’s something I’ve always tried to craft my own little isms into the music,” Pandit says. “I think the lyrics in ‘Drunk Tattoos’ about someone taking an Uber just to kiss me is silly and funny and pretty great, they make me smile. The New York Time lyrics feel incredibly special to me because they seemed to be plucked out of the ether and really helped me confront things and rationalize a situation I had no idea how to control.”
While it’s hard to choose a favorite Pandit cites EP closer “New York Time” as one of his personal highlights. “It genuinely depends on how I’m feeling, but I haven’t really listened to it since it got finished, it’s not mine anymore after it’s done I don’t think. BUT if you had a gun to my head I’d have to say ‘New York Time’, just for how it helped me climb out of an incredibly dark time. I don’t think you can fake that or force a song like that to come out of you. It just happens.”
A particularly wistful balance of tenderness and turbulence, “New York Time” is actually the EP’s softest song – a nuanced self-reflection that leans more into the traditional singer/songwriter realm than it does the indie pop world. Pandit reflects on a moment stuck in his mind’s eye; bringing his audience back there with him, he rises and falls gracefully alongside impassioned acoustics – his emotional voice leading the charge into memory’s endless depths.
When I had nothing to say
You were a time and a place inside my head
Then something you said
whilst reading the lines on my palm
Piano’s bar and Tarot Cards
and walking for 45’s fine
I’m stuck on a New York Time
Can I find, Can I find, Can I find, Can I find
Ways to cry, ways to cry, ways to cry,
ways to cry cus all that shits changed
but your ghost still remains sharp as the taste of the wine
Dragging me back to New York Time
“I never understood the idea of a song being plucked out of the ether or ‘given’ to you by some kind of higher musical power until I wrote ‘New York Time,’” Pandit says. “I was at the lowest point in my life, I couldn’t shake New York, or a person and situation there, or the weight of my own expectations for creating. I was manic, working all over the place with so many different people, but then went up to Liverpool to write some new songs. Those few days were a real blur, filled with hallucinations and something I can still never quite put my finger on. Like watching a sunset, the knowledge to describe it never quite matches the sight or the experience of it. It’s the most honest i’ve ever been. I have little recollection of that time, but it’s a period and a song I’m incredibly grateful for that means so much more than I could ever put into words.”
Pandit taps into his own personal distress, but when crystallized in song, that feeling magnifies to represent whatever demons we’re each facing in the moment. “New York Time” evokes anxiety, as well as resilience and finding the inner strength to move forward.
Cj Pandit’s EP hits many nerves with grace and verve.
“I just hope it finds people at a time they need it, and I hope it can be the soundtrack to some important times in their lives,” he says. “My favorite records are all about life and became the backdrops to my own existence, so I hope that’s what it does to other people too. I’ve taken so much away from it, I’ve got an unwavering commitment to honesty, and to pushing myself musically. Ignoring external influences and staying true to the wild decisions that excite me but seem insane at the time. 2021 is the year of making the fretless bass and harmonized guitar solos great again.”
“The EP as a whole has always, to me, tried to convey that feeling of watching something fall apart, and disappear, in real-time. There’s a strange feeling that kind of takes over you. At first, a refusal, then a sadness, then some kind of comfort in every fleeting moment you get to enjoy. The brief intense presence that comes in those moments is what all these songs are to me. Crystalized versions of a little piece of time, from a beautiful period of my life.”
Honest and heartwarming, Just Before You Disappear is a genuine thrill. Whether you fall for Pandit’s clever lyrics or joyous grooves, the British artist has set a high bar for himself, and we can’t wait to follow his career from here on out. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Cj Pandit’s Just Before You Disappear EP with Atwood Magazine as the singer/songwriter goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his debut EP!
Stream: ‘Just Before You Disappear’ – Cj Pandit
:: Inside Just Before You Disappear ::
Right Person, Wrong Time
At a certain point in time, you get obsessed with a certain idea. For a period of time mine was the idea of a right person at the wrong time. The thought and feeling that it was situational and not personal, human reasons for something not working out. I’ve had a lot of time to sit with that idea now. I feel incredibly different about it. Taking responsibility for things not working out and working through those reasons can be incredibly painful, and hurtful, but in time, liberating. I’ve always tried to phrase things in a certain way musically. People often tell me that it’s some kind of happy-sad… I think this song personifies that. I can see people dancing and crying to it in a field somewhere whenever the summers we knew return.. There’s a little reference to my favourite song by the Cars too, Just what i needed.
Bad Bad Fun
Maybe, the high point of the EP? This is the euphoric part of these times for me. Mistakes, repeated bad decisions in the name of fun, the chaos and mess, and fall out of said decisions. Apologizing, making up, and breaking up. The messiness of being human. I think bad bad fun is a little slice of guilty pleasures we all crave from time to time. I just wanted it to feel like it was bursting out the speakers, a thousand voices singing from the same song sheet, holding each other up and bouncing about in the July sunshine.
Morning eyes is that early morning peace I’ve always reveled in. Watching your love go about mundane things in their everyday life and finding them fascinating. The ism’s, how they brush their teeth, how they take their coffee, how they pull the door to, and how they say goodbye. I wrote the poem in the summer of 2019 just filled with joy and admiration for the little things in life.
I’m in love! I don’t know what else to say about this, I started off with a version that sounded like landslide by Fleetwood mac but slowly morphed it into this pseudo Fleetwood-Springsteen thing with the genius that is Mike Halls, at his studio in Liverpool. It felt like the moment you get absolutely wiped off of your feet, and realize your head over heels in love with someone and can’t quite believe it. Pure joy, unfiltered and pretty blunt in hindsight. But sometimes, the best things are the most obvious right?
New York Time
I don’t have a real recollection of writing New York Time, it was in the midst of the lowest point in my life. Hallucinations, exhaustion, lost faith. Luckily, Mike and Ev Halls took me in for a few days and helped me get back on my feet through writing this song. I genuinely dunno if I’d be here without them. New York Time came from the heart, I don’t know what else there is to say. Find your truths and speak them.
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📸 © 2021
:: Stream Cj Pandit ::