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By Charlie David Page
24th September 2013

The name Jae Laffer may not seem overly familiar, but you'll almost certainly know his voice. He's the lead singer of the ARIA award-winning Perth group The Panics, who has decided to step out onto his own in between the band's albums. Rather than sit back and relax with his time off, Jae insisted on putting together his own material and, after a successful Pozible campaign, his solo album 'When The Iron Glows Red' was born.

If you're a fan of the music of The Panics, you won't be lost at sea with Jae's work, but there's a distinct degree of contrast. The tunes on this new offering are a touch more melancholy than his collaborative work; this is a look through multiple facets of life, from the typical themes of love right through to the battles of the downtrodden.


It's without a doubt that the opening track 'Leave A Light On' is not only one of the highlights of the album, but also sets the standard for the songs that follow. Its simple but superbly addictive tune is indie pop at its best, capturing the brightest part of 'When The Iron Glows Red'.

Jae's lyric writing is the powerful pinnacle of the album. As has often been displayed through his work in The Panics, his way with words really helps set his music apart. There's plenty of brilliant imagery like "When I blew a kiss, it blew to dust" from the song 'It's In All Of Us', or "I think in the night about the places we'd find if we could just walk out that door" from 'Don't Make Me Wait' - the latter exemplifying another of the album's themes (and tying in with the album title) of seizing opportunities.

The tunes on this new offering are a touch more melancholy than his collaborative work.

Although a solo work, no album can be completed by one man alone. Delta Riggs' Elliott Hammond provided his expertise on drums, a vital part of the journey through this album. Also worthy of a mention is Angie Hart's contribution to the track ‘To Mention Her’; her sweet and lucid vocals provide a direct contrast to Jae's, and take the tune from a quirky love song to an exquisite duet.

'When The Iron Glows Red' isn't a departure from Jae Laffer's work with The Panics; rather, it's a train of thought running parallel to the band's endeavours. While the album is an enjoyable listen, the good news is that this doesn't mark the end of The Panics. As such, we get the best of both worlds - we can look forward to new work from Jae and the band in the future.

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ARTIST: Jae Laffer
FACEBOOK: jaelaffermusic
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