PACKS Share a Playlist of Their Favorite Tracks by Other Artists with All-Caps Names
Their debut album take the cake is out tomorrow via Fire Talk/Royal Mountain Records.
PACKS started as a solo project led by Madeline Link that drew from enthralling and deceiving first impressions of love and getting car-doored while riding her bike—basically taking the shit that life throws at you. Now, it’s a group of four including Shane Hooper (drums), Noah O’Neil (bass), and Dexter Nash (lead guitar) that’s about to release their debut album take the cake on May 21 (which is tomorrow!).
take the cake is a combination of old and new tracks from Link that are a soothing brew of lo-fi garage rock and folky, Spanish-guitar led ballads. It’s an unexpected combination that’s led by Link’s heavy, somewhat groggy vocals. She’s said the freshest songs for this LP “are infused with a foggier, slower-paced disillusionment, and deal with the strangeness of a reality morphing before my eyes every day. I still try to be optimistic obviously, but these songs are really glorified coping mechanisms.”
And, though take the cake features gripping lyrics like “guts are wrapped in clingfilm” and plenty of reflection on loss, it’s a fun album. So we asked them to do a fun playlist made up of artists with all-caps names. Honestly, they did a stellar job. Listen to their playlist below and get ready to hear take the cake in full tomorrow.
MF DOOM, “Who You Think I Am? (feat. K.D., King Gihdra, Kong, Megalon, Rodan, X-Ray)”
The vocal fuzz, the simple hard-hitting drums, the flute sample, casual flow of each emcee. Imagine yourself walking down a city street at dusk to this song at full volume. Your whole life ahead of you, nothing holding you back—not even yourself!
The backup vocals really get me, especially live. This was when my sister was playing bass and singing backup and Stephen Giroux was shredding on lead guitar—incredible lineup! I’ve never enjoyed a bridge so much…or is it a middle eighth?
CAN, “I’m So Green” (co-signed by Madeline)
This lesser-known tune is mostly just clickbait to draw in all the super hip krautrock lovers out there. But let’s be real: we can all get down to CAN. The laid back drums serve as a huge inspiration for me (Madeline). I find myself falling back into CAN beats whenever I need a familiar challenge.
OMC, “How Bizarre”
Certainly a one-hit wonder, but sometimes one good one is all you need. “How Bizarre” reminds me of a well-polished version of a song that you and your friends made one drunken night on Logic. However, instead of it living its life deep in the depths of your Mac only to be brought out once in a while for nostalgia, OMC released it and it became huge!
LEN, “Steal My Sunshine”
Classic summer cruiser by a couple local Toronto siblings! Just a well-rounded, fun, and playful banger. Starting with silly audio tidbits and dropping into a raspy late-’90s lead vocal…then the chorus hits and the listener is gifted with Sharon’s charming female vocal callbacks. Such a treat!
WIMP III is easily HAIM’s most complete body of work IMO. It’s hard to go wrong when you onboard the likes of Rechtshaid and Rostam. The crushed acoustic drum sounds on this record are perfection—mix that with the unique utilization of a piccolo snare and heavy support from the classic LinnDrum—it’s a unique thread that spans the entire 16-track LP. In this number, the drums don’t enter till act three, a bold choice which makes for a dynamic finish—enter guitarmonies and some trap hats and take a curtsy… AOTY?
In a year where there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate, putting on this track feels like the party we all deserve…RIP.
CSS, “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above”
It’s 2006, you buy a brand new Zune…pop on your headphones and what do you hear? This song! Love this tune, and the fact that it references Canada’s own Death From Above! There’s a few other great bops on this record, too. Great band from Sao Paulo!
Double caps! There’s gotta be at least one ABBA song on here, right? Absolute Banger. I was going to be hip and pick something from their 1981 album The Visitors. But the classics are more fun.