Peace caused a stir when they came to prominence in 2013, with the release of their first album In Love being voted one of the UK’s top 20 debut albums for that year and earning them scores of dedicated fans.
Now a couple of years on, the young four-piece are back with their second studio album, Happy People. Written on the road while touring In Love, Happy People is Peace at their most enthusiastic, on the cusp of international success. The result is an uplifting and ambitious album that captures the sense of adventure that writing songs in one’s hotel room can bring, and is a reflection of their new lives after having gained popularity.
This sense of adventure is immediately captured by the album’s opening two tracks, O You and Gen Strange. Their addictive sound is surprisingly tropical for a band hailing from the UK midlands, and is at times reminiscent of youthful Aussies Jagwar Ma or even New York’s Vampire Weekend. While O You provides an enticing introduction with it’s nostalgic, yet optimistic lyrics and glistening strings, Gen Strange sees the band taking a more straightforward approach ending up with an irresistible pop track.
On moving break-up song Someday Peace experiment with a more delicate and sincere approach. While frontman Harrison Koisser’s sensitive lyrics are beautifully written, this change of pace doesn’t to favours to the overall momentum of the album. However, the redeeming Money immediately brings it back. Here they abandon the youthful innocence of their earlier tracks to show a far gutsier side to the band. Koisser’s delivery is flawless and greatly compelling, executing a fairly convincing David Bowie impression part way through, with his brother Sam providing a driving bassline groove. With every listen Money gets better and better, and quickly becomes a standout of the album.
World Pleasure brings the album to a spectacular conclusion, combining the infectious groove of tracks like Money with a spectrum of hooky guitar riffs, swirling synth strings and Koisser giving a playful delivery that borders on rap. Midway through the track falls away to only that immense bassline, gradually building layer upon layer towards and explosive conclusion that renders in nearly impossible to stand still.
Peace have an undeniable knack for writing infectious indie pop tracks that capture their youthful enthusiasm and ambition. It’s not hard to see why their debut album was so well received, and there’s no doubt that this one will be a satisfying follow up for fans. Above all, this album is titled perfectly as it is sure to leave its listeners exactly that, happy people.