Indie Mixtape 20: PACKS Loves Fat Chords

Toronto-based artist PACKS are the latest moody indie rockers to break out on the indie scene. The band’s 2021 debut album Take The Cake first introduced us to their music with a dreamy collection of diaristic songs that capture comfort, furthered by their 2022 EP Woah.

Now gearing up for more music in the new year, the band’s latest single “Abalone” sees vocalist Madeline Link’s detached vocals flowing with the band’s cool-tone chords. “Fresh-cut grass and a sun-split lip / Quit lookin’ at me from the corner of your eye,” Link sings in the opening lines of PACKS’ latest track “Abalone.” The song perfectly encapsulates how their music combines snapshots of ordinary life with haunting melodies to make the dull seem extraordinary.

To celebrate their latest single, PACKS sat down with Uproxx to talk The Strokes, making pancakes, and sleeping in a haunted house in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

I love fat chords!

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I think that music isn’t remembered, it’s either listened to or not.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

So far, it’s San Francisco. They go so hard! And Tucson has a great crowd too.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

My dad since day one! He’s dedicated his entire existence to music.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

My mom’s dining room — homemade pasta.

What album do you know every word to?

Room On Fire by The Strokes.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

Getting to see Good Morning play every night was the most life-changing experience, but if we’re just talking about great shows, I’d say Iceage always puts on a show that makes me glow with happiness the whole way home.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

Something that makes you feel totally comfortable and doesn’t restrict your diaphragm. I love hoodies and I love dressing up all fancy, so a combination of those two is always my go to.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

Snoop Dogg on Instagram. His video posts are FUNNNYYY.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

I think either “Fever” by Aldous Harding or the “Cold Heart” PNAU Remix.

What’s the last thing you Googled?


What album makes for the perfect gift?

Something that made you cry unexpectedly.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

There’s a punk house in Philly that we and Wombo all slept on the floor of in the living room. There was a little zombie doll on an automated swingset and a seven-foot teddy bear in the corner. Some of us heard demon sucking noises in the night. We thought we may have been cursed!

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

A friend from Sao Paulo was doing his tattoo apprenticeship in Toronto and he designed this beautiful abstract little baby squid!

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

The classics that I always forget to play for myself! The one hit wonders. But also if I’m on the college radio station and suddenly some insane esoteric crunchy guitar riff starts coming on I will stay tuned with the shazam at the ready.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Probably my mom giving birth to me and nurturing me.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

I wouldn’t really wanna fuck around with the space-time continuum too much, so I’d probably just observe myself in a really inconspicuous disguise.

What’s the last show you went to?

I went down to Albany to see Andrew Callaghan and his crew do some crazy stuff!

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

The Holiday with Jack Black and Cameron Díaz.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

I love laboring over a hot stove in the morning. Flipping flapjacks to make a nice fat stack.