Peachcake Truly Are Unbelievable Souls

Photo by Henri Bernard

Peachcake may well have been the first local band that I saw live. It was long before I was writing for JAVA and had the appreciation for local music I have now. I had an ex-girlfriend that absolutely adored them and took me to a couple shows and in their early days, they were something of a kitschy Casio laden joy to behold. I was writing for a magazine called SWITCH that closed down before I ever got to write about them and grabbed their homemade EPs with the promise of getting them some press. When I reconnected with them years later I was writing here and their sound had grown into a whole new world with brilliant promise and making good on my word, I’ve given them as much press as possible because I love what they do and I love how they do it. With their new album Unbelievable Souls released late last month, I don’t think it’s difficult to hear why I love this band and their sound has grown so much over the years it’s overwhelming, especially when I listen to their previous efforts. This music has been directly broadcasted to you from Planet Awesome and the results are brilliantly stellar.

Unbelievable Souls takes Peachcake to new, impossible heights and builds off the foundation that was laid down on 2011s awe inspiring EP, This Wasn’t Our Plan. Once more it features the core recording trio of singer/frontman/lyricist Stefan Pruett, guitar/keyboard maestro Mike McHale and beatmaster supreme David Jackman (though the live band now features Henri Bernard of Dry River Yacht Club on drums). The album itself was produced by Stefan Pruett, David Jackman and Jalipaz at Audioconfusion, which on that note it comes across as one of Jalipaz’ finest productions. It is an album born from adversity and diversity, which was released at an intense time in Pruett’s life, nearly to the day of the fifth anniversary of his brother’s death and amid himself having heart surgery. “The album was in many ways about his passing and how it’s affected me and how I’ve dealt with it,” Pruett said. “I wanted to take that morose happening, turn it around, and espouse a message of having the ability to make your life and its inherent occurrences anything you wish, based on how you choose to deal with these varying events. Everyday things happen to us, some for better and some for worse – but we have the power to choose how we let them affect us and thus, how we let ourselves and our responses affect our world.”

Unbelievable Souls opens with a sound that actually sounds like it’s being tuned in from outer space, before the beats kick in and the undeniably catchy hooks start catching your aural attention, which it will maintain for the next 70 minutes of your life. “Don’t Panic, It’s Organic” is the album opener and, as I’ve written before, one of the things I love about Peachcake is their overwhelming positivity—this first song is almost their anthem for that aesthetic. “Something is out there, Waiting for you to find it, And when you do, It may hit you, Oh so blindly, Pick ourselves back up, Show the world we’re tough, Stop running on an engine of fear!” Stefan sings, an opening salvo that sets the rest of the album in motion.

“Who Are These People And Why Does This Music Suck” is up next, first released on the This Wasn’t Our Plan EP in 2011, it still stands out as one of their best songs—and one that is more aggressive from the title to the guitar to the slightly acidic lyrics. Even still, the message remains positive, though their positioning might be slightly different here. “Well it’s just unnatural so we do it this way yeah, We throw a party to save the day, And we dance and laugh, It’s stuff like that, We all want happiness.” It’s one of their best efforts because of their enthusiastic aggression, rather than in spite of it.

“What would happen if we spent our time creating harmony, Instead of all the destructive, lost, calamity?” Pruett asks in “Step Away From My Destiny!”, a song about rampant conformist values in society and the way the world tries endlessly to break the individual’s spirit. At this point in the album, I have to comment that I love the phrasing and vocal delivery Pruett presents for his socially conscious lyrics. If you read the lyrics without the music you might mistake them for lost lyrics written by David Byrne, but Pruett is both a poet and performer and this song is yet another iconoclastic anthem with a lasting impression.

The new single from the album is up next. “The World Is Our Platform To Mean Something” is music about making music, specifically it seems to be a song concerning why Peachcake makes music, with both high minded ideals and introspective questioning involved throughout the lyrics. It is an obvious choice for their next single and it is instantly club ready, with hypnotic beats and synth laden bliss—but the key to where Peachcake is different from most dance bands is really in the quality of the lyrics penned by Pruett. The explorations he pursues in thought and his clear eyed passage toward enlightenment become obvious, but not in an overstated or elitist way. He is inviting the whole world to join him—rather than sitting on a soapbox preaching, he’s smiling cross legged on a lawn waving you over. “Let us work towards a common ground, If the world’s our platform to mean something new, Then maybe we should think of what we can do.” Brilliant.

With “Were We Ever Really Right,” Peachcake could be talking politics here, questioning the position of the United States, or perhaps society in general. It is one of my favorites on the album and once more we find them speaking quite openly about the how the individual gets easily lost amidst the modern world, the pressures from above—whether it is society, the government, or any oppressive entity that limits personal freedom. Oh, it’s also a hell of a dance song. “In The Grips Of A Time Machine” follows and it is most notable for being the only instrumental on the album. A fast paced raver with a dreamy ambient backdrop, it occurs to me I wouldn’t mind hearing a completely instrumental EP or album from Peachcake, because even though it’s the shortest piece on the entire record it is sonically engaging.

“The Worlds 21 Shout Salute” gets my vote for the next single from the album. Reminding me of Low Life era New Order, it is an absolutely awesome dance hit laying in waiting, it has also become, after a dozen listens, my favorite song on the album. Smack dab in the middle of the album, this is Pruett’s beautiful reflection on the life and death of his brother Alex. It is a touching personal songs where Pruett clearly expresses everything he wanted to say to his brother, but never had the chance to and the lasting impression is simply the expression of love. The song itself also features a star studded cast with Tobie Milford, Mercedes Murrieta and Laura Dudley on violin, Danny Torgenson on trumpet, Ambur Keryne Gore on Cello, and both Tom Sejen and Jeff Hattasch on Trombone. It is one of their best developed, well conceived songs from every aspect and one of their finest moments of all time.

Next up is the ever powerful “Speaking Of Handouts, I Got You Something” reprised from the TWOP EP and if the previous song alluded to New Order this song simply screams of that band at their absolute peak. It was one of my favorites on the EP and on the album it is yet again another standout track. This is pretty amazing, since this summer Peachcake got to open for New Order at a festival in Sweden and I would have loved to see Bernard Sumner’s reaction to this song. “The Right To Live” is one of the darker, stranger experiments that Peachcake exercises here and it shows off the diversity to be found in this band. “A panic inside of your mind, And they want you, They want you, They want you to comply,” sums up the ethos of the entire song nicely, as it returns to the running them of individuals being squashed in by an unreasonable system.

The title track for the album follows which is seemingly as much about personal honesty and openness as it is about flirtation and connection. It is a seriously uplifting number and another single in waiting, brilliantly executed musically and lyrically—it evokes every moment where upon meeting someone your life turns into something of an electric symphony. “Let’s say, say, say all the things we mean, Let’s tell tell, tell all the stories to be, Let’s make make, make some new history, Let’s breathe it in and feel alive again…” The first single and the last track to reappear from the TWOP EP, “You Matter” is, simply put, Peachcake at their best. Featuring the vocals of David Jackman and some of their best collaborative writing with him, as I said when it was first released “I’m not sure how they’ve embedded sunshine into the music, but you can practically hear the penetrating rays and the clear blue sky beaming at you.”

Photo by AJ Colores

A radio dial is turned endlessly, until at last “We Never Pretended To Know Anything, Why Would We Now?” begins and while it is yet again a great dance song, it also happens to be a pretty beautiful commentary on social change within interpersonal ranges and features some of Pruett’s sweetest vocals. “So everyone, We can sing a song, To tell the world what’s right instead of what is wrong, What is wrong…” This is the song where everyone in the crowd sings along and waves their lighters all the while. “This Is Club Is Called Heaven” emerges seamlessly in its wake and works off a sentiment found previously in Talking Heads “Heaven,” and it’s very nearly as brilliant, which is saying something. The sense of singalong comes from the amazing crowd assembled to provide vocals including Milford, Torgensen, Murrieta, Damien Salamone, Nick Gortari, TK Campo, Tyler Broderick, Brianna Johnson and all of Factories. Awesome.

The finale to the entire affair is “Greatnight!” an epic 8 minute journey, that begins with a hypnotic keyboard loop recalling the likes of Kraftwerk and the very beginnings of electronic, it kicks into a brilliant up-tempo explosion of modern sound just before the three minute mark. The song itself is as diverse as the album it finishes, stylistically all over the place and lyrically stunning, the madness it descends toward is as fascinating as it is illuminating. It is the perfect finale to one of the best straight up dance albums I have heard in a long time. “SO LET THE DEMONS OUT, LET THE DEMONS OUT AND CRY TO THE WORLD, THIS IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT, HEY!!!” So says Peachcake, so should we all, this is what it’s all about.

Peachcake and Sochu House will be hosting a special listening party for their brand new album, Unbelievable Souls this Friday, October 26th at 10 pm. This will be your first opportunity (pearhaps) to hear our new album in full, from start to finish, not to mention in a public setting. They’re thrilled to present it to you, and we hope you will join. There will be special Peachcake themed drinks and cocktails all night, a DJ set, some prize giveaways of special edition merch and album media, and we’ll be slipping in some other surprises as well. This is a free, all ages event, bar with ID, so bring friends of all walks and come hang out.

They will be holding a drawing to give away 14 copies of UNBELIEVABLE SOULS on special edition Cassette USB drives!

JUST ANNOUNCED: SPECIAL GUEST DJ’S!

GOLDSMITH
HOODWINK

Come celebrate with Peachcake, as it will definitely be a night of Musical Mayhem and Food Magic!

Unbelievable Souls is now available on iTunes as well as, Amazon and all digital retailers:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/unbelievable-souls/id561836886

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