Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Premiere: PEACH! - SOHC

PEACH! SOHC Los Angeles Funk


Info: PEACH! is a four-man funk group carrying influences ranging from Vulfpeck to Stevie Wonder to The Beatles. Their original music reflects elements of R&B and jazz while employing funk as the foundation for their unique sound. The band originated in 2015, and is the product of a collaboration between four musicians at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. Their newest video series, released in the summer of 2016, consists of both originals and covers; and preceded the launch of their debut single, 'SOHC'.

Whilst there is much imbalance at present between the advantages and pitfalls of how the internet, and by extension online streaming, affects independent artists, on the other side of the fence, it has opened up the world to music lovers. I know how L.A.'s PEACH! first dropped into my ears, via SoundCloud's pretty sophisticated algorithm, just not why, but I'm not hung up on the latter. 

I set straight off to discover more of their music after hearing '80's Mercedes' and then the sweet sweet soul sounds of live track 'Side By Side', and was thankfully led to some of their live studio performances of originals and covers. With the 70's being my go to decade for music across pretty much every genre, PEACH! ticked my soul, jazz and funk boxes instantly, so I had to get in touch. More people needed to hear this fusion of wonder.

PEACH! - Side By Side

And so to 'SOHC', everything is ramped up here, it has all of the hallmarks of classic 70's funk and contemporary jazz fusion, like The Alan Parson's Project meets a stripped down version of BADBADNOTGOOD. The big triumph here is the execution and abandon, PEACH! really aren't thinking about anything other than delivering a sound that they collectively love as musicians, at the 2:00 minute mark the brief but bang on funk interlude is a pretty invigorating moment, and they can easily release an extended live version of this single which could be just as popular as this first outing.

To find out a bit more about the PEACH! story to date, we had a quick chat;

Remy: You guys have been together as a four-piece since 2015 after meeting at the University of Southern California, were you all studying music there or did you gravitate towards each other in another way?

PEACH!:  Yes, so three of us were studying music, and Maurice was studying theater. One of our friends, whom was in a musical with Maurice at the time, recommended we reach out to him because we were looking for a singer, and the rest is history!

Remy: From the outside it seems like the West Coast music scene is thriving, with LA and the Bay Area in San Francisco very vibrant, but on the East Coast, in New York in particular, there is a vacuum right now, is that something you’d be aware of / have noticed? 

PEACH!: The music scene in LA in the past few years has really been exploding. A lot of musicians are moving here from across the country and there is definitely an influx of different genres. Recently there have been a lot of successful artists who are combining different influences into their sound (Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Knower, Moonchild) and there is a growing underground scene that has definitely affected our sound. 

PEACH! - Come Together (cover)

Remy: Your music crosses over a few genres which all had their peak popular epoch in the 60’s and 70’s, such as soul, jazz and perhaps moreso the 70’s than the other two, funk, it’s quite a delightful mixture. Which artists from that era do you think have slipped their way subconsciously into your sound? 

PEACH!: Yeah definitely! We love Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Herbie Hancock, and many other different artists from that period. Also Bobby Caldwell, if you haven’t checked out Bobby Caldwell, you’ve got to! The sounds and types of the instruments used during the "golden age of recording" have been very influential in our sound.

Remy: Our introduction to PEACH! came via your cover of Marren Morris' '80’s Mercedes' and from there, your video 'Side By Side', which is one of a three-part series live studio recording session you did along with ‘Vicious’ and a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’. Did you feel it was important to head into a studio, and not only do an audio recording, but also give a visual dimension to your music? 

PEACH!: Yes, we feel that our live sound and vibe is really important to who we are as band! Combining our sound with visuals also provides us the opportunity to give a little insight into who were are as people. Now, the challenge is transferring that live sound and vibe to a polished audio recording! Haha!

Remy: Your debut single 'SOHC' brings the funk energetically to the fore, and it’s wonderfully executed, but it also has an undercurrent of 80’s hip hop sounds, รก la The Sugerhill Gang, do you feel like this is a direction you’ll be heading towards more, or will you always be looking to mix slow tempo soul sounds with what we get from 'SOHC'?

PEACH!: Wow! It’s really interesting that you heard that influence. We never even thought of that before! Overall we try to make music from we want hear, and we like to think that one of the things that sets us apart is that we all have different musical backgrounds and influences, and we draw from all of these to create our sound.

Remy: What can we expect from PEACH! In the near to mid-future? Are there plans to record an EP / Album? Yeah! We are definitely planning to record an album in the future. 

PEACH!: We have a lot of songs and material, and we are looking for a producer that can help us achieve the sound we want. Right now we are focusing on just developing as a group and playing more live shows!

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