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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Peach Pit ran away with my usual Monday blues, and I don’t want them back

The indie-rock band’s performance at the Brooklyn Bowl on March 28 was hip-shakin’ and head-clearin’, but most importantly—groove-inducin’.
A musician playing guitar
Bella Macakanja
Indie-rock band Peach Pit performed at the Brooklyn Bowl on March 28. (Photo courtesy of Bella Macakanja)

Surf-rock indie band Peach Pit seems to be experiencing the peak of their career, drawing in millions of monthly Spotify listeners, touring throughout the US and bringing together a tight-knit crowd that seems to know every lyric—their voices competing with the band. 

This isn’t their big break, as the band has experienced upward momentum performing and touring together (and cultivating this aforementioned diehard fan base) since 2014 when they formed. The band members met as high schoolers in Vancouver, Canada, each with their own unique take on the genre. 

Like any other hometown-reminiscent band, Peach Pit’s lyrics explore the classic ups and downs of romance tropes and general party debauchery, paired with clean guitar riffs. The latest bout of fame has not gone to their heads, however, as their most recent release, “From 2 to 3,” features sophisticated takes on their more classic sounds. 

A musician plays guitar
Peach Pit had us shaking away our Monday blues. (Photo courtesy of Bella Macakanja) (Bella Macakanja)

The album provides a balance of sweet ballads rich with an Americana echo and upbeat, in-your-face tracks that leave guitarist Peter Wilton lunging at the crowd, mock-tossing a stool clear across the stage. The transition between tracks is almost jarring—one moment you are reminiscing about that one memorable (for the wrong reason) neighbor from your hometown with distorted guitar sways, the next your feet are off the ground as you attempt to two-step to lead singer Christopher Vanderkooy’s sunshine-tinged lyrics on “Give Up Baby Go.” 

The beautifully circular nature of the album, from the highs of  “Up Granville” to the lows of “Last Days of Lonesome” to the more reflective and content  “From 2 to 3” cements Peach Pit as an indie-music powerhouse. Below are the tracks of the night that echoed their now established artistic style of planning highs, lows, humor and reflection, bringing that circular feel to the stage.

Peach Pit, from their 2018 EP “Sweet FA

A song named after the band. Meta. But the name is fitting as powerful themes of sweetness and indulgence take the forefront of the track. Said lyrics follow the rotting journey of the band name’s fruit sister: “Not much is hidden underneath … A rocky heart for breaking teeth.”

These lyrics seem to reflect somberly on the loss of a season of joy. It hinges on the idea that within joy there always rests a sense of loss related to the eventual end of such joy. The track is twofold in meaning through the irony of a rotting fruit’s sweetness. At the show, lead singer Vanderkooy stood dead center of the Brooklyn Bowl stage, each lyric lifting from his voice like a question he had already answered for himself.

Vickie, from their 2022 album “From 2 to 3

This song was one of the stand-outs of the night, transporting listeners to a world that made several of us in the crowd laugh. Vanderkooy lists off the pros and cons of living next to the imaginary Vickie, from a supply of drugs to endless attention; however, he resolves tartly at each chorus, “But I thank God you don’t live next door to me.” The raw yet humorous approach to the track and the bounce the band had as they sang along made for a bright and memorable spot between slower-moving tracks.

Black Licorice, from their 2020 album “You and Your Friends

This is the type of self-pitiful rejection track you would never want to play after a bad date. The repeating verse,

“I’m just black licorice … And all the people that I know … Would rather leave me in the bowl”

had me questioning if this was a quote Eeyore once said in a Sunday morning cartoon. The track’s simple nature and stripped-down performance struck me as musically complex in their own right. The crowd had a quiet and dutiful energy to it, straining towards each lyric. I whispered to my friend, “Man, this one is so sad” to which she responded, “Aren’t all of their tracks a little sad?” 

To be fair, this is an introspective look into the songwriting habits of a band that seems to explore the full-sided nature of every emotion, such as the leftover licorice in the sweet candy bowl, or the tart sting of regret and loss even within joy. Maybe I was lost in the crowd’s energy, or maybe Peach Pit is pushing us to think a bit more holistically.

Tommy’s Party, from their 2018 album, “Being So Normal

Truthfully, I’ve had a sweet spot for this track since its release in 2018. I think it showcases the band’s songwriting prowess to a T. Listeners enter the world of a friend or possible ex-lover fighting a battle between genuine concern and underlying jealousy for their past beau’s new ventures. Lyrics like, “​​You barely spoke a word to me besides that slurred, ‘Hello’” contrast with the pleading nature of the repeated chorus, “Just like I used to.” This song strikes a chord in every former high schooler’s heart who had a friend breakup more emotionally damaging than their romantic ones. One is left picking up loose ends and attempting to stamp down any remaining genuine care. Ouch.

 

Singer Haley Blais—an artist seemingly inspired by the aforementioned tracks and artistic style of Peach Pit—opened for them. Blais reflects the homespun Canadian nature that warms a listener to Peach Pit, singing relatable lyrics with a scream-in-your-face attitude. It is no wonder her most recent release “Coolest fucking bitch in town” was my favorite track of the night, with Blais’ sweet gentle singing style cutting against her demanding nature in regards to how others perceive her, ahem, as the song title.

Blais had a cool, collected stage presence, captivating each listener through her comforting lyrics and easy cadence as she flew through her top hits, like “Small Foreign Faction”. I completely understand why the track brings in three million monthly Spotify listeners, as Blais’ singing prowess resembled the crooning of Dolores O’Riordan (of the Cranberries) with the lyrical bluntness of your favorite Lucy Dacus track.

Overall, every moment of the night was memorable, whether it was distorted guitar riffs carrying one into a music-induced trance, slamming drums that push you to attempt your best two-step, or the calming crowd energy inherently tied to a Peach Pit performance. Their current uphill momentum brings more excitement in relation to future releases and approaches to continued genre-bending. 

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About the Contributor
Sophie Edelman, Former Staff Writer
Sophie Edelman (‘24) is studying cognitive, child and educational studies in Peabody College. As the former Music Correspondent, she is passionate about expanding coverage of local musicians and performances. She loves fish tacos, thrifting and working at Vanderbilt’s Acorn School! She can be contacted at [email protected].
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