The energy of rock and the emotions of soul come together in Pacanomad’s debut five track EP Restless. The four member Canadian indie rock and R&B band, comprised of Chantel Rivard (vocals), Nick Cifaldi (guitar), Dave Ball (bass), and Zack Stewart (drums), build on the strength of Rivard’s smoky vocals and Cifaldi’s guitar skills to create infectious and oftentimes groovy songs.
The EP begins with “Heaven Can Wait”, immediately introducing listeners to Rivard’s passionate and smoky vocals. The tracks, like most of its successors, evokes the imagery of a smoky bar, a femme fatale dressed entirely in black, supported by fedora topped instrumentalists. The slower title track, “Restless”, also packs in the emotions but this time, not just in the vocals; the guitar solos almost sound like a second vocalist. Poignant and introspective, it packs quite the punch and sets the band firmly in any picture of a smoky bar. The infectious “I Lost You” approaches jazz territory; a remake of the song with horns and a couple of female backup singers would put it smack dab in it, but the electric guitar keeps it at the rock-jazz border. The acoustic guitar led introduction to “Tell Me Not to Doubt” defines the entire upbeat, toe-tapping track. While as with all the other songs, the vocals form the topmost layer by far, the other instruments shine particularly well here too. The hint of reggae in “Till It’s Mine” are subtle enough to not distract from the rock-jazz-R&B feel of the EP. As the beat is higher in this closing track, the EP leaves the listener with a bounce in their step.
The songs on the EP manage to be energetic and soothing at the same time. Rivard’s sultry, seductive, and soulful voice makes for a great listen; the composition of the songs complement her vocals which are also matched by the quality of the instrumentation provided by her bandmates. Restless is an EP that has hints of blues, groove, soul, and rock, great for lovers of groovy soul rock featuring female vocals.