Peaer’s new album A Healthy Earth is here, and the Brooklyn based trio has honed its unique songwriting voice. Spearheaded by guitarist and singer Peter Katz, with Thom Lombardi on bass and Jeremy Kinney on drums, A Heavenly Earth examines concepts of love, reality and philosophy tightly packed in a dynamic style of math-y indie rock.
It may take a while to dig into this album with its unconventional song structures and time signatures that can seemingly change at a drop of the hat, but patient listeners will be rewarded for traversing its steep climb. Every song is purposefully built, a holistic approach where instruments and sounds serve the emotion of the song. Leading to a more enjoyable experience with each succeeding listen.
“Circles” opens your mind right off the bat. Katz’ contrasts the difference between human life and nature in the line: “Everything in nature is a circle / Everything in human nature is a right angle” questioning how far we’ve strayed away from who we are. The chord progression uses the circle of fifths, displaying Katz’ confidence in using various musical tools to reinforce an idea.
“Ollie” is a charming song that stands out with the rest of its peers, about a life of a dog eagerly waiting for its master. The atmosphere is uplifting and whimsical, with a cheerful clarinet solo that wags its tail as it sees you coming through the door. “Like You” is a bright and cheery song about the initial sparks of love, with an odd rhythm that gives it a lingering tension. The harmonies develop further at the bridge, where Katz’ voice dips to an inaudible gasp, and lashes out in an outcry that’s jumbled in a cacophony of drums and guitars. A reflection of the confusion that emerges at the start of relationships.
“Commercial” mimics a catchy product jingle. The lethargic vocal delivery details his frustration in seeking refuge for his agony, in a world :“that wants to kill me in a million different tiny ways”. Tackling the way advertisers sell us products that hardly deliver on their promise.
Katz’ voice takes on a different character in “Multiverse”. Sitting right on top of the mix in a lazy drawl that gives it a floatiness. The slow cadence of the guitars interlaced in doses of negative space gives it a feel of being suspended in zero gravity.
Another notable is “I.K.W.Y.T.” which details the anxieties of new love. Filled with ruminations that range from genuine concern to self-destructive thought. It meshes well with the closer “Have Fun!” that continues this line of thought, pondering on how we can really tell if we love someone.
A Healthy Earth’s highlight is in its purposeful design. Peaer has meticulously arranged each element to support the song’s emotional core. The volume can go from soft whispers to frustrated howls, the tempo and rhythm changes are fluid, creating a rich sonic palette to paint their world.
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