FIRST and foremost I would like to admit that I was wrong. When I first spied Peace staring haughtily from the pages of the NME at me in 2012, I cast them off as another throwaway Indie act. Then I purchased their debut In Love, and was pleasantly surprised; it was a good album with some great songs. So when they announced new album Happy People, I cast them off again due to the album cover being awful. But now I would gladly eat my words.
Happy People is a noticeable step up for the Indie band; their sound has developed from straight Indie Rock to Funk Indie Pop and I am 100% ok with that. While In Love contained mostly primarily Guitar friendly Rock songs, such as ‘Toxic’ and ‘Wraith’, Happy People sees the band shift to a more rhythm based sound, with Samuel Koisser and Dom Boyce really coming into their own. The band welcome in this Indie Pop sound with open arms, notable in the tracks ‘Lost On Me’ and the surprisingly dark ‘Happy People’, where Doug Castle’s Edge-like guitar is the icing on the cake.
Elsewhere, ‘Money’ exhibits the bands lose attachment to what people could consider typical Rock music, and ‘Gen Strange’ and ‘I’m A Girl’ give us a rauchous, punkier side to their music. But the song that really seals the deal is closer ‘World Pleasure’. I saw the band perform the song in June and was blown away by how much they’d developed musically; there is a Talking Heads feel to the song that you can’t dislike.
Harry Koisser’s snarl curls around the lyrics of the songs excellently. His work on the words is perhaps most notable on the songs ‘I’m A Girl’ and ‘Perfect Skin’, where he exhibits an understanding and sympathy of the teenage image problems along with life under the patriarchy. Whilst his band largely speaks to the Buzzfeed generation, the lyrics he sings don’t put a foot wrong.
So is there anything I dislike about this album? Well some songs aren’t as strong as others. For example ‘O You’ and ‘Under the Moon’ aren’t quite a memorable as say, ‘Lost On Me’. They are by no means bad, just not quite as strong. ‘Someday’ feels like the band channeling Oasis which doesn’t appeal to my tastes, but just manages to avoid that pitfall.
Maybe I’m being too picky though. Happy People shows Peace developing and showing they are far, far from the one trick ponies you might have thought they were. As ‘World Pleasure’ proves, the band are one step away from creating their magnum opus. They’ve got big goals for their third album and now the pressures on to deliver. But for now, just sit back and enjoy this excellent Indie Pop album.
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