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Peakes are that rare breed of band who announce themselves to the world having already mastered the art of writing accomplished pop songs. This was in evidence on debut EP ‘Space,’ a confident and sonically coherent taste of things to come. Last year’s stand-alone Richard Formby produced single, ‘Still Life,’ followed this instinct with added atmosphere and poise. Latest EP ‘Absent in Person’ adds three new songs to this impressive canon, all engagingly presented with help from producer Steph Marziano.

The Leeds based band consists of Molly Puckering (vocals), Maxwell Shirley (Keyboards) and Pete Redshaw (Drums). Each member uses their respective instruments intelligently in order to achieve the perfect electro-pop sound. This is apparent on new song and EP highlight, ‘It’s Not the Worst,’ which bubbles and broods into a euphoric, fist pumping chorus. It’s three and a half minutes of perfectly executed pop. Witness also their masterly cover of Kate Bush’s, ‘Running up That Hill.’

Let’s be clear though. This is not a case of style over substance, for behind the pop sheen Peakes delve deep into the human condition. The lush sonic soundscape of aforementioned ‘Still Life’ provides dark backdrop to the idea of isolation and loneliness delivered beautifully through Puckering’s vocal. And it’s arguably here, in her vocals, that make Peakes such an exciting proposition by finessing these songs with unique personality and feel.

This intimate approach runs through ‘Hole in the Floor’ but is this time juxtaposed with bright arpeggiated synths and catchy melody. The song is best summed up with some sage advice from Molly: “It’s an observation of a person who is drifting through their surroundings. They are detached from the outside world and float above the people that care about them and can help them. But it’s that acceptance of knowing that the further you let yourself drift the harder you will fall in the end.”

Do yourself a favour. Listen to Peakes.

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‘Absent in Person’ EP is out now.

Words: Nicolas Graves

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