Single Review: Roo Panes – A Message to Myself

By on Monday, 13th November 2017 at 12:00 pm

Header photo by Sophie-Emma Rider

Dorset singer/songwriter Roo Panes has recently released his first taste of new music since his 2016 album ‘Paperweights’, in the form of a standalone single titled ‘A Message to Myself’. The new track takes a slight step away from Panes’ previous guitar-based songwriting style, which I had described as “earthy” and “organic”, and expands his sonic palette to encompass a more atmospheric, almost ephemeral quality.

‘A Message to Myself’ starts with an ethereal “ooo” over a simple piano accompaniment, before Panes’ deep yet effortless baritone enters. His lyrics are poetic in form and a bit obscure in meaning, but his self-directed message seems to be about finding clarity and peace in the solitude of his own mind, away from the influence of the outside world. “If I’d heard every word / or read every line upon the shelf”, he sings in the title lyric, “I’d still need a message to myself”.

Though it consists only of two verses and a simple refrain, the song spans over 5 minutes in length without ever losing its gentle but steady momentum. Produced by Bassi Fox of Mt. Wolf, the subtle instrumental details in the arrangement set an ambient, introspective tone as well as adding hints of texture and color to the overall soundscape. The falsetto vocal in the refrain will appeal to fans of Bon Iver singer Justin Vernon, and Panes uses his naturally melodic singing voice as a deftly integrated part of the instrumental texture in the song’s lengthy and delicately layered coda.


Roo Panes’ newest single ‘A Message to Myself’ is out now on CRC Music. Talented photographer Sophie-Emma Rider has published a series of photos of the equally talented and remarkably photogenic Roo Panes on her own Web site, which you can find by clicking here. TGTF’s previous coverage of Roo Panes, including a lovely interview from SXSW 2016, is collected through here.

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