Peace are a band that came at an interesting time in music. With the disappearance of the indie bands that plagued the 90s and 2000s and the growing popularity in house music, many assumed that the music industry had moved on. But when Peace exploded onto the scene (or politely introduced themselves, which seems to fit their personalities slightly better) in 2013 with their debut album ‘In Love’ it seemed that indie was still alive and kicking.
Born out of that album was a swarm of young fans; standing outside venues for hours in their fur coats, just to be in with a chance of getting closer to Harry Koisser & co.
I’m a Girl
This adoration of Peace hasn’t died down over the past year or so. With the release of singles such as ‘Money’, ‘Lost on Me’ and most recently ‘I’m a Girl’, the band have managed to keep their fans both satisfied and wanting more. With the anticipation of a second album mounting, there’s no wonder Peace found the process of creating ‘Happy People’ – released February 9th – so difficult.
The album itself feels, for lack of a better word, optimistic. In the beginning track ‘O You’, frontman Koisser sings about how he’s trying to make the world a better place, and the bouyant melody of this track as well as the final song ‘World Pleasure’, almost makes you feel as if you’re being carried downstream in a river of glitter. A closer look at the lyrics to the song ‘Someday’ dispute the claim that this album is full of happiness, but lines like “some say separate pathways sometimes turn and meet again” demonstrate the kind of unwillingness to stay sad forever that make it such a lovely listen.
Evident throughout the album is Koisser’s trouble with his identity. The track ‘Perfect Skin’ shows an insecurity in his appearance and a wish to look different, however in ‘I’m a Girl’ this desire becomes a scathing response to the idea of what it takes to be a ‘real man’ with outbursts like “Do you feel like a man? Cause you got blood on your hands?” and Koisser’s declaration that “I don’t feel like a man”.
The frontman’s ability to mock what’s clearly not part of his agenda is also apparant in the single ‘Money’, only this time it’s in the form of an innocuous question as to whether you need money, and what you do with it once you’ve got it. Songs including ‘Lost On Me’ and ‘Gen Strange’ show the band’s ability to coin a catchy hook, and Douglas Castle’s guitar skill is a constantly pleasant surprise.
Overall the album feels more refined, as if the band are trying and succeeding to fine-tune their talents, yet it still has that irrepressible youthful glow to it that makes hating it a very difficult task indeed. It’s by no way revolutionary, and the best tracks that the record has to offer don’t live up to their ‘In Love’ counterparts, but it’s the kind of album that allows you to wrap yourself up in it’s simple straight-forwardness and forget the world for a little while.