Introduced to Peach Pit at the start of this year, it quickly became a band that helped me feel far less alone in this world. The four tracks I became familiar with (in addition to their live performances) have been the backdrop to this year, for all its losses and victories. And now, with the release of Peach Pit’s newest album, I am reminded of how incredibly special it is to see a talented band that you believe in so much celebrate their much-deserved success.
Opening with the refurbished version of Drop The Guillotine, everyone’s favourite Vancouver babes launch straight into their signature brand of indie pop and feel-good, mellow tunes now compiled into their debut LP, Being So Normal. With Neil’s soft vocals soaring over the guitar and percussion in each track, Peach Pit don’t shy away from displaying the full extent of their musicianship and determination to bring a solid sound to their most extensive exhibition of music yet.
The second track, Being So Normal, is fairly subdued and gently muffled, with the consistent and breezy guitar wearing the heart of the track on its sleeve (a characteristic that has come to define Peach Pit’s core sound). Following this is Techno Show, a summery, vibrant track that – much like the rest of the album – evokes memories of sharing adventures with friends, often on those perfect, sunny days. Christopher (guitar) and Mikey (drums) are endlessly enjoyable to listen to as they treat us to a back-and-forth that confidently accompanies Neil’s vocals.
Alrighty Aphrodite is a throwback for those familiar with Peach Pit’s live performances, a comparably more melancholic track which becomes fuller and more intense as it closes. Following this is Chagu’s Sideturn, one of the (many) overt highlights on the album, a melodic track soaked in quick, successive guitar rolls and percussive riffs.
As we descend into the second half of Being So Normal, we are introduced to Not Me, a moody, heavier track, and Hot Knifer, a sombre and earnest ballad (reminding me a little of old and beloved track, Sweet FA). The guitars are dominant and temperate in this track, ultimately helping bring a warmth to it. These two tracks are emblematic of Peach Pit’s musical range and talent for retaining an innate optimism despite the relatively more discordant aspects of the song. Private Presley, the penultimate track on the LP, is a dynamic and fuller track, adding in a violin towards its close, accompanying by the rising and falling intensity of the guitars and rolling percussion.
In short, this album is a triumph. It is a celebration of youthful experiences and of all the special things that makes music so necessary and so important. Through its sincerity, its moments of tenderness and its moments of chaos, Being So Normal is a magnificent comfort and, to put it simply, a lot of fun.
The closing track, Tommy’s Party, is a nostalgic dewdrop of a tune and one of my favourites on the album. It is a sentimental track that perfectly summarises the lazy, lamenting aftermath of a house party, an appropriate way to close the riotous excitement of their first album, and an expression of the sadness that can accompany seeing someone who was once a significant part of your life:
You barely spoke a word to me besides that slurred hello
But I happened to see without even tryin’
How she laughed with you, just like I used to.
You can check out the entirety of Peach Pit’s musical catalogue on Spotify and the new album via Kingfisher Bluez Bandcamp.