In Peach Pit’s sophomore album “You and Your Friends”, Peach Pit redefines heartbreak ballads in the context of 2020 bedroom synth rock-pop. Having grown from their teen angst and chewed bubblegum pop album Being So Normal, You and Your Friends tells a coming-of-age story of the sweet sting of young love. Peach Pit succeeds at keeping their same mellow feel while exploring new sounds, all the while staying true to their classic Peach Pit brand.
My love for Peach Pit blossomed by listening to the saccharine melodies of Sweet FA on sticky summer days, driving to the library with windows down, and picnicking around public parks with friends. Their music came naturally then because that’s exactly what it is, music made by friends, about their friends, for you and your friends. Heh. While it doesn’t take much to fall in love with their music, serenaded by melancholy chords, falling in love with the band is just as easy. Based in Vancouver, Peach Pit is beautifully simple. In summation, it’s just four talented friends making kick-ass music. Lead singer Neil Smith writes the lyrics and some basic chords, while bassist Pete Wilton and drummer Mikey Pascuzzi throw their own spins on the melodies. Lead guitarist Chris Vanderkooy adds some spicy licks and the magic is made. Grammy award-winning producer John Congleton (Alvvays, Regina Spektor) joins Peach Pit on You and Your Friends, mastering the tracks so each tells its own unique story, but combine seamlessly as a cohesive unit. While some tracks seem reminiscent of other artists, like “Thursday”’s The Killers-esque synthy verses and aggressive reverb choruses, each is incredibly distinct, a skill they’ve fine-tuned since the release of Being So Normal.
You and Your Friends is incredibly dynamic. “Live at the Swamp” rides the rollercoaster of surf rock and mellow summertime blues. “Brian’s Movie” bleeds the soft glow of young love, telling the story of how Smith’s parents met. “Your Teeth” drifts you out to sea with its cool electric waves, slipping you under its lovesick lullaby. And at the climax of the lovelorn tracks woven throughout the album, is the titular “You and Your Friends”. It shows the harsh sting of first loves, inevitable heartbreak, and the well of feelings and bitterness break-ups leave behind. Each song is emotionally charged, passion squeezing through the breaths in each verse as they tell the stories you come to love in You and Your Friends.
Peach Pit have always excelled at storytelling. Smith paints vivid pictures of compelling characters, dulcet tones emphasizing the raw emotion Smith punches into every note, bringing their stories to life. “Feelin’ Low (Fuckboy Blues)” pulls listeners in with eccentric characters and their intriguing stories. The music video’s director and band’s long-time friend Lester Lyons-Hookham throws you into this chaotic world of wrestlers and underdogs, absolutely killing the ensemble’s characterizations to tie it all together. You’re sucked into this world that toes the line between fiction and truth, many characters based on friends of the band. The combination of Smith’s imaginative lyrics and Lyons-Hookham’s brilliant vision constructs a wonderfully chaotic scene. It’s Peach Pit’s specific stories and complex characters that make them so unique, inviting listeners to feel like a part of the conversation.
While I spark a joint and dance around my kitchen to my personal favorite track: “Black Licorice”, I can’t help but reflect on what makes Peach Pit’s latest album so touching. I think it’s how genuine and personable they are that makes their music all the more powerful. Their music is wholly familial, listening feels like kickin’ it in someone’s basement with your people. When artists have fun with their music, listeners have fun too. And Peach Pit’s vibe has always been one of lighthearted fun, despite a fair few somber ballads. It’s cool to see people do what they’re most passionate about and succeed in it too, which I think is part of what makes their music relate to such a wide audience in such a personal way.
While some fans are devastated about the omission of the kitschy “Psychics in LA”, You and Your Friends, as per usual, doesn’t disappoint. Do yourself a favor and slip into the hazy world of Peach Pit and their post pubescent, pre grown-up dizzy tunes. Peach Pit welcomes you to shotgun a beer with the boys, kick back, and listen to their dreamy heartbreak jams.
Stream You and Your Friends now below.
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