Archive for “Peach”

A Modest Rethinking About Secret Colours, “Peach”, and Psychedelica

Posted in Music with tags , , on July 1, 2013 by johnbuckley100

Yesterday, we raved about Secret Colours, and we have no intention to walk back any of our praise.  Far from it.  They’re a pretty amazing new band, Peach is a superb album, and if you track talented bands playing real rock’n’roll, you gotta keep your eye on them.

But yesterday, we wrote that they were mislabeled as a psychedelic band, based on the evidence available from repeated listenings to Peach.  Today, we spent more time listening to their debut, Secret Colours.  Based on the first record, it’s clear how natural it is, actually, that they’re appearing with bands like Dean and Britta and First Communion Afterparty at this Friday’s Bathysphere psychfest in Minneapolis.  It’s not quite like they’re a different band on each album, but it is very clear how much Brian Deck shaped the sound on the new album.  From a record label’s perspective, from the perspective of a programmer from Clear Channel or Sirius XM, no doubt for the better.  But we do wonder what happened to that earlier version of the band that meanders a bit more, that plays Farfisa and tries on garage-rock poses, that yeah, sounds like a psychedelic band.

And then we stumbled upon a really well done and revealing interview in Illinois Entertainer in which the band says this:

“I think Peach signifies a transformation. The first one we tried real hard, from the way we dressed to the way we played our instruments. We tried really hard to be somebody else. I was like, ‘I have the same pedals as Pete Holmstrom from Dandy Warhols.’ I feel like Peach is the beginning of us putting our personal touch on . . . it’s far more personal,” Stach explains over his second pint of Oberon ale.

“We want to be ourselves now. I think we’re trying to get over identity – find ourselves musically and in real life,” Evans adds.
Frederick continues the train of thought: “I think we’re far enough in the process, like with Peach, that was such a shock, and it’s a rewarding process. It taught us a craft that we had never done before . . . but there was still something I truly feel about Peach that was not fully ourselves.”

So, some advice to the band.  Enjoy what you’ve accomplished with Peach, and the deserved success it brings you.  Secret Colours has talent in buckets. But for the next album?  If the label allows it, either produce it yourselves, or figure out who you really are before you let a producer sculpt you into shapes you may not naturally fit into, shapes that, an album or two hence, you may not be comfortable with.  Be yourselves.  We’re convinced, based on both albums plus the EP that came in between, that real Secret Colours is even better than whatever a producer can manufacture.

Secret Colours’ “Peach” Drips With Hooks and Talent

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on June 30, 2013 by johnbuckley100

Chicago’s Secret Colours have just released their second album, Peachand it is everything that name implies — sweet, tasty, and a satisfying summer treat.  Their first album, Secret Colours, had sufficient reverb to qualify them to play at next week’s Bathysphere: A Psychonautical Voyage, wherein they’re paired with “new gaze” and neo-psychedelic bands like First Communion Afterparty. But if we are to rave about Peach — and get ready, cuz we’re about to — let’s first clarify what kind of band Secret Colours really are, and what they aren’t.

Based on Peach alone, they’re not a psychedelic band.  They are, at their roots, a riff-resplendent blues band with a gloss of pop chops that bear a stronger resemblance to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Blur than to any of the bands they’ll play with in Minneapolis on Friday night.  But that’s good company to be in, and on Peach, there are no fewer than 10 songs you could easily hope would make it onto radio playlists from the ’60s – the Aughts.  Tommy Evans doesn’t have a distinctive voice, he just has a voice you could listen to for hours.  Similarly, guitarist Brian Stach cannot play a single note you don’t want to listen to.  Producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse) has managed to harness good songwriting, great guitar playing, and charismatic singing to create a sound that, measure for measure, is always surprising.  “Wow,” you say, “I did not see that (riff/solo/shift) coming.”  Did we mention they are really young, and this is but their second album?

Since we’ve been playing the album, uh, nonstop for days, we do wonder whether they’ve simply got us under their spell, a band like, say, the Vines or maybe Jet, that, because they know how to pull together hooks and riffs and a purring voice into sonic candy, they lead you to gorge on empty calories, and you hate yourself in the morning.  Pretty sure that’s not the case here, as long as you accept them for what they are.

Bottom line: Secret Colours is a band like the Plimsouls that beguile you on the basis, essentially, of strong songwriting, singing, and guitar playing, and that’s enough.  Yes, some of the underlying song structure can, for a moment, make them sound like a generic ’90s rock band. They maybe could have pared the album by three songs.  But cast those doubts aside.  This is a band that is as confident, though nowhere near as obnoxious, as Oasis was two albums in.  Peach is an album you can play over and over again and still want to hear more.  They are much more commercial than a true alternative band.  But that’s just fine.  It’s a good thing when an excellent band becomes huge, as we — and they — have every reason to believe they’ll be.

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