PACKS is the project of Toronto-based songwriter Madeline Link, which has now been augmented to a quartet with Shane Hooper (drums), Noah O’Neil (bass), and Dexter Nash (lead guitar) for the release of debut album take the cake, which comes out on May 14 via Fire Talk / Royal Mountain. On the album, Link says:

The album is a meeting of old and new. Old songs from a year ago where I’m having really horrifyingly awful days at work, getting doored while biking in Toronto and flying into the middle of the street, or going on dates with guys who I’m either instantly in love with, or who end up creeping me out a bit. Those songs are more packed with that feeling of hurtling-through-time-and-space-at-breakneck-speed, manic energy. The newer songs 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.

New single “Silvertongue” seems to be one of the older, “hurtling-through-time-and-space-at-breakneck-speed” songs, as it rampages forwards on frenetic riffs and pulverising percussion. This contrasts nicely with Links’ poetic reflections, as if the world is rushing around outside while she’s stuck in her own leaden worries. PACKS also have the tightness to stop and spin on a dime, diverting into a more steadily paced chorus where Link takes stock of her mania: “Every time I reconsider / No Cut-N-Dry all / Vim and Vigour.” But, before she can let her hypochondria consumer her, she’s back on her bike and PACKS bluster onwards with heedless glee, ready for the next hurdle.

Find “Silvertongue” on streaming platforms or watch the video below.

PACKS’ debut album take the cake comes out on May 14 through Fire Talk / Royal Mountain (pre-order/save). You can find the band on Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.