*So, this is the start of a series of reviews I’m going to do leading up to Liverpool Sound City to give people an idea of who it’s worth listening to and in some small way to help you make an itinerary so you don’t miss that diamond in the rough or end up standing in the crowd listening to a band who manage to redefine mediocre.*
Peace has returned to the land after their excellent 2013 debut, In Love to provide gossamer pop with indie rock hooks – positivity and ego mixed with anxiety and fragility.
Perfect Skin examines the fears and doubts inherent in any relationship - are we good enough? Do we measure up to our lovers standards? He elevates it to obsession and a deep desire for achieving ultimate symbiosis with his lover by becoming her and losing himself in the process (“I need less of me in me and more of you in me”), seeing this as a desirable trade off – trading his old skin for her perfect skin like a snake, sloughing off the old to evolve into something new and better. The song ends with us doubting that the character in the song is actually in a relationship with the woman of his affections or if this is an unrequited obsession when he sings “You're superiority over me makes me worry, I'm not worthy have you seen me?” he’s became so self-deprecating it’s a wonder he hasn’t ceased to exist.
This fragility is continued in Imaginary, which runs with the theme of a relationship that feels too good to be true, at once taking on the proportions of mythic, dream like qualities but at the same time it’s a celebration that anyone can make someone feel like this, and it’s the positive that is truly accentuated here.
World Pleasure evokes Britpop nostalgia with a catchy charisma and narcissism about being too good looking to be sent off to war, with licks very reminiscent of Stone roses and Primal Scream.
Money delves into consumerism and how money itself is a means to an end but ends up transforming us into monsters to get to the means, in a world where “bit coins pay for beatings, and diamonds pay for girls.”
Whilst not as strong as their debut, Happy People is still interesting and infectious enough to warrant a listen, and deftly avoids being that “difficult second album.” I would definitely recommend that you check them out at Sound City, or at least give Peace a chance.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.