The beginning of something massive
Joe Smith
11:14 12th October 2021

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PinkPantheress is different. Her music is a breath of fresh air, captured in the mid 2000’s, only to be released in 2021. Dripping in vibrant samples of liquid DnB and classic garage, the Bath-born mastermind has managed to tap into something that the collective hive mind of young Britain has been unknowingly seeking for what seems like forever: To hell with it is the beginning of something massive.

The UK garage scene, although fading, has never truly died. Living on in avenues such as Kurupt FM, and club nights, it’s perhaps the Britain's most nostalgic genre — and for good reason. We’ve been eagerly awaiting the garage resurgence, and PinkPantheress is leading the uprising. Despite no track on the record being longer than three minutes, To hell with it never lacks substance: instead it powers on through its nineteen-minute runtime, firmly grounded in its unique approach to a much-loved genre.

I think it’s fair to say that we’re all already familiar with opener ‘Pain’, consciously or not. Sampling the legendary Sweet Female Attitude’s ‘Flowers’, within the opening seconds you’ll find yourself swept into an unrecognisable city, a mish-mash of Britain's urban landscapes, an amalgamation of collective noise condensed into layers upon layers of perfect sound.

‘Last valentines’ creates an opening into a darker side to PinkPantheress’ music. Instead of sampling a garage track, she instead fuses Linkin Park's ‘Forgotten'' with her own brand of potent liquid DnB. The word ‘eerie’ springs to mind as the track continues: something about the animosity of the repeated riff just doesn't sit right with me, but in the best way possible.

‘Reason’ amplifies PinkPantheress’ unique lyricism, tackling the fear of the future, before erupting into another fantastic DnB breakdown. Bleak optimism is a sense evoked frequently throughout the record. Whether this is a mixture of the pang felt for memories of the easier times the music replicates, or through minute sonic subtleties scattered across its reaches, To hell with it always feels close.

Throughout the rest of the tape, we’re treated to near-perfect instant classics (‘Just for me’), orchestral vibrancy (‘Nineteen’), and startling moments of blissful production (‘Noticed I cried’). This record is a synthesis of a country's collective youth.

On reflection, To hell with it changes everything. It’s a collection of lost songs, for people to confide in. It offers an escape, a refuge, a rave, and a place to lie down. Beautifully bleak, bordering on existential, it’s the record we’ve all been crying out for, and it’s arrived in the knick of time.

To hell with it arrives 15 October via Parlophone.

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Photo: Press