Three Chester musicians, two EPs, one questionable band name: indie-pop trio Peaness release second EP ‘Are You Sure?’ into a crowded market. While the UK’s biggest indie-rock exports rarely featured women in the noughties, now all-female bands are increasingly popular.
As a wider societal discussion on women’s rights has reignited, the music industry’s faced criticism – including lack of female festival headliners, industry sexism, and Kesha’s Dr. Luke lawsuit. Thanks to this awareness, social media and camps like Girls Rock, more women are starting bands and seeing themselves represented on stage. With their gritty feel-good pop, Peaness are well-positioned to take advantage of this movement.
Lyrically, the EP isn’t as fierce as punk-rock contemporaries The Tuts or Skinny Girl Diet, who openly adopt Riot Grrrl attitudes. Still, it brilliantly tackles heartbreak-politics (‘Oh George’) and lust (‘Skin Surfing’) with a frank yet sunny approach. Relatable single ‘Same Place’ showcases their trademark vocal harmonies and hint of melancholy, exploring the struggles of growing up alongside the comfort of returning home to find nothing’s changed.
Peaness make despair attractive in opener ‘Oh George’, the perfect summer jam for anyone battling Brexit blues. Pokémon-referencing ‘Seafoam Islands’ follows; assertive, impatient questioning “Do you want to? ‘Cause I want to” moving easily into a dreamy chorus of sugar-coated harmonies with crashing drums.
‘Skin Surfing’ has clear romantic motivations, imploring “Let’s go skin surfing, I wanna feel your fingertips” amid minimalist guitars and percussion, building into a heavier chorus as vocals rise in pitch and intensity. While it’s a simple melody with somewhat predictable lyrics, Peaness can evidently write pop tunes for indie-rock crowds. Food waste singalong ‘Ugly Veg’ totals only 2:57 but manages a quirky comment on environmental issues that’ll resonate with young, socially-aware audiences.
Peaness are light-hearted indie with an edge, blithe vocals concealing serious themes. Although fans of their escapist “pea-pop” will be pleased by ‘Are You Sure?’, the EP’s sameness means it’s unlikely to make waves beyond the indie-pop scene.
‘Are You Sure?’ EP by Peaness is released out now on Alcopop! Records.
Words by Clare O’Shea (@Clare_OShea)