The Leeds trio chat about the city, how art and design wraps into their band and their debut EP
New week, new music right? Well, that’s why Bites For Starters is here again - serving up another buffet plate of stunning fresh sounds delivered here first. We want to know about new bands, we want to know what they’re doing and we want to know what makes them tick. Lets just say it’s our duty, and we’re blooming well happy to do it.
Arriving like a soothing hand on the shoulder that immediately takes you up to the clouds, PEAKES
are a band primed for soaring heights yet packed with an emotional punch that’ll have you spinning. Lead by the stop-in-your-tracks tones of Molly Puckering along with keyboardist Maxwell Shirley and drummer Pete Redshaw, PEAKES
are a trio already creating an orbit around them - with singles ‘Saint’ and ‘Pray For You’ both taking that cinematic pull and dipping it into a ocean of electro-tinged glitter. Immediately calling to mind the left-turns of London Grammar
and the flourishing chills of Pumarosa
, in less than a year PEAKES
have already formed something undeniably special.
That next step, is their debut EP ‘Space’, set for release on October 27th and geared up today with new track ‘Waves’. An atmospheric and enticing slice of rising pop majesty, it’s quite possibly their most direct and vital number to date - perfect for post-midnight journeys home in the crisp winter months ahead.
Talking of the track, Molly said:
"It's about the realisation that everything you've been doing isn't real or beneficial to you. Nothing you've really wanted has taken effect and you've been wasting your time. But it's the thought process of wanting to turn that around.”
After a memorable debut headline show in the city where is all began (aka Leeds), PEAKES
have announced two headline shows for later this year to mark the release of their debut EP - calling into London’s Servant Jazz Quarters on November 2nd and Leeds’ Oporto on November 12th.
Till then, click play on stunning Starter ‘Waves’ below - with the full Bites rundown right after the jump.
PEAKES all met whilst studying at university, and didn’t become a band straight away
Pete: We all lived together in the same Uni house in our 2nd year but all of us playing together as a three piece only really happened a year and a bit later, after we’d each tried a few different projects. We realised quite quickly that us as a three worked well as we all individually brought different styles and ideas that we might not be used to.
Their music doesn’t involve purposefully thinking of reaching a certain audience, but has naturally blossomed over the past year
Molly: This year’s been great so far. We’ve released a single, done a headline show and then we have our EP coming out too! It’s just nice when you write music not intentionally thinking about an audience, just music that we think sounds good, and then getting a positive response from it. So it’s maybe daunting for the first day or so when a song’s released, but then you think well we’d be writing this music anyway so it’s just nice that people seem to be enjoying it! That always helps haha..
PEAKES don’t just have their own individual influences, but they’re more about that collective feel of a track - inspired by certain sounds they hear and growing them from there
Molly: I think with us, we’ve all got our own distinct music tastes. We’re all quite nerdy when it comes to our instruments haha. So we each bring a different perspective when we’re writing. We definitely look a lot to female fronted bands like Little Dragon, Moloko, Portishead, Goldfrapp. How each of them have such a clear female voice gives us a lot of inspiration.
Max: I wouldn’t say we’ve taken influence directly from certain bands. I think it’s more like finding sounds and textures that we like and seeing how we could take inspiration from that in our own music. That’s what I love about being inspired by other musicians. Most of the time you don’t know how they made that sound, so even if you tried to replicate it, you might get something completely different but still really interesting.
The band are all really interested in art and design, which merges well with PEAKES and the artistic side of what they’re creating (y’know, aside from the music of course)
Pete: All three of us have played in bands at home since we were really young. But I don’t think any of us saw it as a possible career until we were much older. We’re all really interested in Art and design. I spent 2 years at college studying 3D design. The graphic design knowledge definitely ties in with our band, as I’m able to design and create graphical content (to a certain level at least) for the band. Moll studied Art at college to so she’s really interested in painting and drawing.
It was only quite recently that they even thought of doing a headline show, and the experience was definitely a highlight that opened their eyes to something bigger
Max: When we played our first headline gig at Brudenell Social Club a few months ago. We were all just like “woah” this is turning into something really exciting. We generally don’t get carried away, so 6 months ago we hadn’t even thought about doing a headline show. Things can move quite quickly haha!
Likewise with their upcoming debut EP, reaction to ‘Saint’ gave them the confidence and idea to package the songs they’d been working on together into one collective statement
Molly: We originally were just planning on recording and releasing singles. So we recorded two tracks late 2016 and two tracks early 2017. It was only after releasing Saint, we thought actually these songs really work together as a package, as well as standalone songs. Considering we already had them recorded, it seemed right to release them as a collection and see what people thought.
Discovering songwriting has been an eye-opening process for the band, with each member coming into their own and honing their craft over the past year
Max: It’s just always been something I’ve enjoyed. I never really liked learning covers of songs, I just liked making my own chords/sounds. But if i’m honest, the songs I used to write on my own didn’t really work. They had some good ideas but it’s only when I wrote with other people, that they turned into songs as opposed to 4 minute ideas. I always like having a 2nd or 3rd opinion because otherwise I’d probably end up throwing everything away and starting again every time I wrote something.
Molly: For me it was pretty much the same. Lyric writing was quite a personal thing, it took me a long time to get comfortable writing with other people. But it’s the best way I think. Especially if you all have a strong concept and can see where you want a song to go. That’s the most exciting part.
Seeing them live is a must, and something that PEAKES worked hard on ahead of their first headline show
Max: I think people have really warmed to the live set as we try and make it really interesting. Not by using any props or gimmicks but seeing the tracks with the real drums and hearing Moll’s voice live, I think the audience hear the songs in a new light.
If there was a fourth member of PEAKES, it would be the city of Leeds - which is overflowing with new music and creative thinkers galore
Pete: I think Leeds is a pretty fundamental part of Peakes. It’s where we all met, where we went to uni, where we wrote the EP and where we started to gig. Leeds has such an incredibly tight nit community of artists and creators. It’s such a special place to live as things are constantly happening and developing.
Max: Leeds has been amazing for us as a new band. There’s so many great bands that we’re friends with here who we can go and see or play gigs with. There’s always something musical going on. For bands to watch out for we wrote our single Space with Sam from the band Heir, they’re definitely doing great things! Caro, Krrum & Laminate Pet Animal are also absolutely bangin’.
There’s a classic ring to the sort of meal PEAKES would be….
Max: It would have to be the Boots triple meal deal… Does that count?
PEAKES are living in the moment, taking one step at a time as a stellar year continues
Molly: Right now all we want to do is to keep on creating music that we love and carry on evolving and improving as a band. That’s our current goal I think.
are set to play:
02 LONDON Servant Jazz Quarters
12 LEEDS Oporto