MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Priya Panda’s “Temporary”

“The only way to make sense of change,” British counterculture philosopher and Western-Zen advocate Alan Watts wrote in his 1951 book The Wisdom Of Insecurity: A Message For An Age Of Anxiety, “is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

Few, if any, embody or actualize this sentiment more fully or beautifully than Priya Panda. The singer/songwriter relocated to a tiny Los Angeles cocoon after Diemonds—the stellar hard-rock outfit she fronted for more than a decade (opening for Kiss, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, the Darkness, Slash and Steel Panther along the way)—went on hiatus. Panda has now emerged with a set of breathtaking solo pop songs that feel a bit like Prince producing a Kate Bush-fronted Depeche Mode.

Which is to say, Panda does pop infectious enough for the move and dance part of the Watts equation, but also with enough depth and heart to allow listeners to take the sort of exhilarating plunge with her into the problems and possibilities of real change wherein the only true positive evolution exists.

Perhaps this is because Panda’s father grew up in a shack in India and later moved to Canada with $60 in his pocket, put himself through school and built a very different life for his daughter and family. She understands, intimately, what it’s to think beyond your circumstances, work hard and actualize a dream. (The ABBA and Bollywood LPs floating around her parents’ house didn’t hurt, either.)

MAGNET is pleased to premiere “Temporary,” a single that’s one of the fruits of that journey and labor. The track will appear later this summer on an EP called Snacks, but you can hear it—as you will see, appropriately—right here, right now.

“‘Temporary’ is about how everything is fleeting, and all we really have is this moment right in front of us,” Panda, recently sober and embracing a meditation practice, tells MAGNET. “In our heads, so many of us are living six months or a year from now while the all the todays between slip by and disappear forever. Next thing you know, you’re in another phase of life and you forgot to enjoy or make the most of the one that just passed. We can’t get that back. That’s why when people ask me what I’m up to these days, creatively or otherwise, I’ll just say, ‘I’m up to this. I’m up to talking to you. That’s what’s going on right now. And let’s talk about tomorrow when we get there.’ And we do get there. So, let that take care of itself and be here now.”

—Shawn Macomber