ABOVE: ROO PANES. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY FRANCIS.
When we caught up with Roo Panes in 2013, he was on the heels of a sudden catapult into the spotlight thanks to a well-timed Burberry campaign that coincided with his debut EP Once. Since then, he’s released several EPs and an LP (2014’s Little Giant), which have racked up a collective near-40 million Spotify listens. In preparation for a his sophomore full-length, Paperweights, out March 4, Panes premiered a single “Where I Want To Go” last month. Here, we’re pleased to introduce the accompanying video.
Panes previously told us that he’s not influenced by other musicians so much as the world around—less the aural landscape, and more the visual one. As one YouTube commenter put it, “Listening to your music feels like sitting on a high rock, enjoying the landscape and feeling the fresh wind around your head.” That ethos is on full display in “Where I Want To Go,” which ushers the listener in on soft vocals and even softer visuals. The video roams the countryside and seashore, assembled from “a collection of footage shot by an intrepid friend from Cornwall,” Panes tells us. Upon seeing the montage, the musician matched it to his latest song, interspersing brief shots of himself singing among the tranquil shots of winding roads and rough oceans.
Running, biking, surfing, playing music—the video pushes forward in constant motion, moving down a roadway to a rock beach populated by people, as Panes puts it, “doing the things they love and that bring them life.” It’s a reflection of the track’s lyrics, he explains: “The chorus line ‘Love takes me where I want to go!’ is about realizing that destination and journey are entwined, and that what guides us is paramount.” Though the lyrics focus on a storybook romance (“Well I found what I need / In your arms / In your arms, what I need / There’s nothing for me / Outside your arms”), the video broadens the track’s perspective. It zooms out from the narrow first-person—such a love can be found anywhere, in another person or in an entire worldview.
That chorus might also be a thesis statement for his career thus far, traversing between music and fashion and cultivating a distinctly Roo Panes style. Sonically, “Where I Want To Go” creeps in with a jazzy do-wop, gaining steam before it culminates in a powerful chorus complete with trumpet blasts. While his debut full-length record was a sweetly classical folk album, the Paperweights releases promise a new take on the genre, collaging influences that seem to encompass contemporaries like Greg Laswell and Dan Mangan and rearranging inspirations into something wholly his own.
PAPERWEIGHTS WILL BE RELEASED MARCH 4, 2016. FOR MORE ON ROO PANES, VISIT HIS WEBSITE.