“Being so Normal”: A track by track review

Peach Pit’s first album does not disappoint. From guitar-driven bops to slow ballads, “Being So Normal” has it all.

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Peach Pit is an up-and-coming indie band from Vancouver, Canada. I stumbled upon their debut album in my recent search for indie music, and I have to say, I’m impressed. Their lyricism and instrumentation are on point. Not only that, but the progression of the album works very well and provides a lot of variety.

Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

The album opens up on “Drop the Guillotine”, which was also featured on Peach Pit’s first EP, “Sweet FA.” The EP version was more of a moody take on the song; it’s overall much slower and has an entirely different beat. Maybe I’m biased since I heard the second version first, but the “Being so Normal” rendition is definitely my favorite of the two. Its moving guitar line and faster tempo are a perfect start to the album. Plus, I always love an upbeat song with sad lyrics.

The title track is the first look we get into Peach Pit’s slower side of songwriting. “Being so Normal” starts out with a pretty long guitar part that builds up effortlessly into the first verse. The guitar continues to accent various sections throughout the song, which later extends into a solo that takes up the majority of the track. Casual listeners may get bored of the solo because of its length, but personally, I really enjoy it. It adds a special kind of depth to the album, and really showcases the band’s talents.

In the blink of an eye, the band is back to their feel-good indie tunes with “Techo Show.” While it’s not my favorite track on the album, it gets stuck in my head more than I’d care to admit. Though the lyrics are a little repetitive, it captures the mood of the song well, which has proved to be a common strength of the band.

Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

 

“Alrighty Aphrodite” is definitely one of my favorites from the album. The guitar part is perfect for setting up the atmosphere of the song. Not only that, but the lyricism is done incredibly well. Throughout the track, they reference the motif of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the goddess of love. She was known for hooking up with mortals, only to leave them soon after, hence the lyric “If I’d known you sold on maybe / I’d’ve let you waste another guy.” It was also speculated in ancient Greece that she originated from the sea. The band pays tribute to this through various ocean-related lyrics, such as the opening line: “Take a seat back in your clamshell / If the ocean’s not enough, nor am I.” These mythological aspects add a special kind of depth to the track.

The fifth track, “Chagu’s Sideturn” is the worst on the album. Lyrically, it’s kind of all over the place. That might’ve been the point, but sometimes enough is enough. In terms of production and instrumentation, it’s okay, but it doesn’t stand out from the rest of the album.

“Not Me” starts out with another guitar-heavy intro backed up by a steady drumbeat, and has a similar feel to “Drop the Guillotine” with an upbeat sound and melancholy lyrics. However “Not Me” has a more angsty feel to it. The chorus (She’s always rocking a smile / Haven’t seen mine in a while) is probably my favorite part of the song, especially because the instrumentation and vocals really put emotion and feeling into them.

The album’s seventh track, “Hot Knifer” creates a somber mood through emotional vocals and well-placed pauses between verses and choruses. Instrumentally, the song is very well put together, but the drug references the track is centered around seem slightly off-putting given the mood and some other unrelated lyrics. In general, lyrically, it just feels obscure and awkward. I tend to skip this track, but I don’t hate it

Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Another of Peach Pit’s classic lyrical-heavy songs is “Private Presley”. If you use Spotify, I would definitely check out the Audiotree Live version of this song. All of the Audiotree Live album is great, but this one is especially beautiful. The song is about Elvis Presley and his experiences in the war. Elvis went into the army after starting his music career, so there were likely times where he missed his life back home- meeting fans, performing, etc. Peach Pit expresses this in lines such as “Alone except my songs you’re gone / Just bring me with you love” that refer to Presley’s voice. He begins to separate himself from his voice, creating a sort of alter-ego for it that he says he left behind in America. Thus, the voice is “alone” by itself except in his recorded music, and he wants to go back to it. Small little references like this make this track very powerful, making it my other favorite of the album.

“Tommy’s Party” was the first song I heard by Peach Pit, but it’s the last on the album. I’m not quite sure how to describe this track, because it’s always seemed so unique to me. It captures an odd feeling of nostalgia, and really makes the listener feel like they’re in the moment- awkwardly standing in the corner at a party, people-watching. The soft harmonies add to this sad, reminiscent feel of the song. “Tommy’s Party” really gives each band member a time to shine, making it a perfect end to the album.

Overall, “Being So Normal” proves that Peach Pit has a lot to offer. They show their more upbeat side in tunes like “Drop the Guillotine”, but have a contrasting slower, sad sound as well in “Private Presley” (among others). Contradictory to the album title, most of their songs are so unique that they can’t be classified in normal categories, such as “Alrighty Aphrodite”. Like any album, there were one or two songs that disappoint. However, I’m super excited to see what Peach Pit has to offer in the future (including a U.S. tour).

 

 

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