Monday 09th, July 2012 / 12:55


This month, Go Outside will be released to many unsuspecting ears, and the four members of Edmonton/Vancouver’s Hot Panda are committed to winning a lot of them over. The album, their third full-length, is their tightest yet.

“I want to go on Sesame Street,” says drummer Maghan Campbell, when asked what the band is hoping to reap from their latest effort. “I’d also like to have an iPod commercial.” Why not? Along with hopes of a bit of cash and touring comfort, Campbell’s demands might just be met some day, considering what the group has created with Go Outside.

“You believe that you can always be famous,” frontman Chris Connelly muses on “Maybe Now?,” one of the album’s highlights. Hot Panda want success and they can taste it. Connelly explains how their best attempt so far came to fruition: “We took our time with it and we spent more time working on the songs. We put a lot more work into it.”

“It’s fairly concise, we didn’t let it drag on,” keyboardist Heath Parsons adds. The result is an impressive, eclectic collection of indie pop pieces that creep in slowly and keep you guessing. Catherine Hiltz’s understated yet flavourful bass and Parsons’ twinkling keys are among the many strengths showcased on Go Outside. Recorded by David Carswell and John Collins (The New Pornographers, Tegan and Sara), their latest focuses the energy captured on 2010’s How Come I’m Dead? to a sharp, fine point; whereas the former burst like a star, this one streaks by like a comet.

Hot Panda releases Go Outside on July 17. The band plays at the Waldorf in Vancouver on July 14. In Alberta, they’ll rock the Pawn Shop in Edmonton on the 20th and the Republik on in Calgary on the 24th.

By Daniel Robichaud