Updated: Mar 18
Favorite Track: Shampoo Bottles
Least Favorite Track: Camilla,I'm at Home
As far as indie rock/pop bands go, few can compete with the musical genius of the Vancouver all-stars known as Peach Pit. Everything about them describes a well-rounded, iconic 21st century band that young teens and young adults admire and strive to embody throughout their own musical journeys. Peach Pit’s upbeat surf rock vibe is reinforced as they tell listeners stories over a soundtrack of jaunty, cheerful guitars, bouncing bass lines, and tight drum grooves. Their first album Being so Normal was able to tap into powerful emotions hidden deep in the minds of listeners, as killer sadness-anthems like “Tommy’s Party” and “Hot Knifer” make them miss those who they haven’t even met. The emotion was just one of the amazing characteristics this album presented, with other notable elements being Christopher Vanderkooy’s solo on “Private Presley” and the amazing instrumental arrangement on “Drop the Guillotine.” After two years, during the midst of a global pandemic, they released their second album You and Your Friends, a piece of art not only amazing in lyricism and instrumentalism, but amazing in its ability to be the antidote to anyone feeling separated or lost during this infectious curse that has viciously gripped so many of us.
I like to think of You and Your Friends as a breakup album. If you need reference for legendary breakup albums, think of Fleetwood Macs’ Rumours or Joni Mitchells’ Blue, both of which present artistic stories of failing relationships and developing love interests. That breaking-up narrative feels exactly like what Peach Pit is going for with You and Your Friends. The opening track “Feelin’ Low (F*ckboy Blues)” starts out with low strumming on the guitar, giving off a classic, chaotic teenager crying in a pillow with loud music playing in the background image that we have seen in countless 80’s movies. However, this emo rock style transitions into that classic Peach Pit pop blend, showing that even though they have modified and matured the sound from their first album, the crew continues to amplify that standard. Following the first track, the tune “Black Licorice” opens with the lyric “If you don’t even want to say my name anymore, that’s fine, cause I’m so wasted I don’t mind.” This can be seen as a response to “Feelin’ Low (F*ckboy Blues),” as now that low feeling has transitioned into an alone feeling, hence the comparison to black licorice, a candy that is socially neglected for tasting terrible. There are countless other examples of the evolving feelings told throughout the 12 songs on You and Your Friends, with the lyrics not only portraying the loneliness felt from a breakup, but also capturing the alienated, depressing feeling most feel during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a way, the separation doesn’t have to be from a significant other, but can also be a breakup from pre-pandemic, normal life.
Pretty much every track on this album has everything I want in an indie rock song. However, the track “Psychics in LA” from the Deluxe edition that they released a couple months after the original has a special place in my heart, greatly due to the unbelievable way the band changes the style of the song throughout. During the verses, the band takes a much more subdued rock groove, comprised of a killin’ guitar line, a heart-beat like bassline and kick drum, a typical snare and cymbal beat, and topped off with Neil’s sweet and savory voice. The chorus kicks the song into double time, with Chris changing his guitar line, bassist Peter kicking into overdrive, and drummer Mikey exploding with energy, creating a catchy, danceable song to throw on as you drive. Moreover, two honorable mentions have to be “Second Life with Emily,” an adorable upbeat song that is meant to portray that fabricated person you become when you see someone you used to know, and the track “Shampoo Bottles,” a sorrowful story of when you find your ex’s old stuff lying around your house as you struggle to move on from their departure.
Seeing as how much I enjoyed their first album, You and Your Friends exceeded all of my expectations for their follow up project, and for it to release during a heavy and depressing period of human history was nothing short of a gift to the world. References to past relationships partnered with infectious melodies and amazing instrumentalism across all songs has created a work of art that makes me extremely excited for their tour in the distant future. This group holds a lot of promise for the future of indie music, as they continue to revolutionize the craft of rock/pop styles while also keeping things playful and rejuvenating at a popular culture point-of-view. Personally, as a musician, I am gravitated to the immense talent and captivating bromance they have with each other and hope to someday have something as powerful, precious, and professional as Peach Pit does.