REVIEW: Peach Pit’s ‘You and Your Friends’ delivers a dreamy escape from our current reality

The newest album from the indie rock band Peach Pit, “You and Your Friends,” is a melancholy yet breezy summer night’s drive filled with catchy guitar hooks and clever choruses. Peach Pit returns after their 2018 full-length debut “Being So Normal,” which fared well in indie rock circles with songs like “Alrighty Aphrodite” and “Tommy’s Party.” The Canadian band anchors their sound on the pairing of lead singer Neil Smith’s haunting vocals and lead guitarist Christopher Vanderkooy’s dazzling surf-rock riffs. As recently as 2017, all four Peach Pit members, which also includes bassist Peter Wilton and drummer Mikey Pascuzzi, were all working bartending and delivery jobs. However, after the band’s rise in popularity from their EP “Sweet FA” and the maintained success and touring that followed “Being So Normal” in 2018, they have returned with their most complete and versatile piece of music to date. “You and Your Friends”  expertly explores all the tribulations of being a 20-something, from romantic woes to social forlornness, through its mournful lyrics and shimmering guitars. 

From start to finish, “You and Your Friends”  is lyrically filled with wistful relationship recaps or bittersweet party memories. An example of that remorseful tone is the track “Figure 8,” which sees Peach Pit using multiple metaphors about ice skating as a form of pleading with a lover lyrically, “Watch her as she pirouettes, watch her figure 8,” and then later, “Watch her skate away.” Another song that uses objects to create lyrical metaphors about romantic anguish is the track “Shampoo Bottles.” The song centers around the grief of losing a partner, lamenting “I been leaving your shampoo bottles over in the corner there, sitting empty on the bathtub rail wishing they could wash your hair.” The quirky lyrics scattered throughout “You and Your Friends” give the listener an immense landscape of captivating mourning.  

Both critics and fans of Peach Pit have commented on the nature of how Vanderkooy is the glue that holds the band together. Regardless, anyone who can appreciate music should agree that Vanderkooy only puts his best foot forward sonically throughout “You and Your Friends.” Whether it is the brilliant solo that ends the albums first track “Feelin’ Low” or the surf rock-influenced tones of “Brian’s Movie,” Vanderkooy’s skill set is on full display throughout each song. If that is not enough, Vanderkooy’s signature stache and turtlenecks create a sense of charisma that adds significantly to the live aesthetic of the band overall, proving he is, in fact, the most relevant component of the band. 

Two under-appreciated highlights from  the album are the tracks “Brian’s Movie” and “Your Teeth.” Both songs are sorrowful and self-reflective lyrical accounts that disorient the emotions of the listener with glossy dance-ready guitar riffs. “Brian’s Movie” seems to be the jealous story of watching a love interest at a party with someone else. The track is sonically straight out of a ‘60s beach party while the lyrics are ruminating on modern-day party drama. On the other hand, “Your Teeth” plays like an agonizing and bittersweet dream that lead singer Neil Smith is recounting. The instrumentals are distant and atmospheric giving the listener a front seat to the poetic melodies of Smith which focus on the mystifying frustrations of attraction through the lens of a love interest’s teeth. 

One fault of the album is how its tones can sometimes revolve too much around the lead guitarist Chirstoper Vanderkooy’s riffs, which causes all the tracks to sound slightly similar. However, the brutally honest lyricism about addiction, heartbreak and laughter make up for the same-song-syndrome. Whether Peach Pit is reminiscing on youthful party spirit or lost love, their new album “You and Your Friends” delivers a dreamy escape from current reality.