I’ve been a fan of Peace since the Delicious EP in 2012. When they released In Love in 2013, it only secured their rightful place in my heart. In the two years since the albums release, my vinyl has been played enough that it has the look and sound of an album I have had since I was in high school.
It has been a long two-year wait for the release of Happy People, and In Love had set the bar high for me ( In 2013, it charted in as number 2 on our favourite albums of the year, narrowly missing the number one spot by Arctic Monkey’s October release of AM). I wasn’t sure how I would react to their second album, one that seems to be hard for bands to make. They were really going to have to up the anty. With difficulty I have tried not to compare.
Happy People is, in many ways, In Loves older sister. It is a natural progression, more polished, a bit more crisp. Kossier excels at writing a good pop song. The songs are still washed in the summer sunshine we are used to, but underneath the jangly guitars and Kossier’s unique vocals lay a deeper nature of lyrics. Unlike In Loves gooey message of love and peace, Kossier seems a bit more jaded, as on title song Happy People, where he asks ” Where did all the happy people go..” The songs I’m A Girl and Perfect Skin both seem to tackle image insecurities. On all three songs, you have to listen carefully to hear it, the insecurities are masked with their signature jangly guitars and pop movement.
But it is not all unhappy on the album, there are a lot of very danceable tracks and even some unexpected rapping done by Kossier on World Pleasures. Songs such as Lost On Me and Flirting USA, bring us back to the Peace we knew on In Love. One of my favourite on the album Someday, while certainly not California Daze, is still an excellent written heart breaker of a song, proving Kossier can still make me swoon with his slow crooning.
Peace have not followed the footsteps of many bands that have recently reinvented themselves on new albums, they have only refined themselves, giving us more of what we came to love on previous releases… 37 minutes of honest indie music full of well placed catchy lyrics.