Brooklyn, NY jam foursome PEAK has released its sophomore studio album, Choppy Water. The LP marks the sophomore release from the band following 2018’s Electric Bouquet.
On Choppy Water, the outfit—comprised of guitarist Jeremy Hilliard (Turbine), drummer Kito Bovenshulte (Particle), bassist Josh T. Carter (Hayley Jane and The Primates), and keyboardist Johnny Young (Mick Taylor Band)—applies its groove-based psychedelic rock approach to dalliances with funk, electro-pop, prog, Americana, and the spirit of the blues making for a distinct musical brew.
Recorded at Horizon Sound Studios in Brooklyn throughout 2020 and 2021 with engineers Johnny and Michelle Young and mixed by Jason “Jocko” Randall (Turkuaz/Jimkata/Dopapod) at Moresound Studios in Syracuse, NY, Choppy Water is the result of a year of focused work while sidelined due to the pandemic. As Young explains, “Because of the pandemic we got to work on it almost every day and not get distracted by touring.”
“We recorded the album over quarantine and it was truly the only thing that kept me sane during that crazy time,” says Carter. “Gigs were over, concerts were gone, and we were stuck in our apartments. I poured all my hopes and dreams, all my frustrations, and all my love for music into these songs. We all did.”
The material on Choppy Water was culled from years of songwriting and road-testing, presenting listeners with a lived-in snapshot of the band at this moment in time. “I think there’s something for everyone on this album as it covers a wide variety of genres with a foundation in melodic and versatile songwriting,” says Bonvenshulte. “It’s a display of skill and technicality while still maintaining a pop element that focuses on catchy hooks.”
Choppy Water bursts out of the gate with “When The Night Comes Calling You”, a jamtronica cruise through moody synths, anthemic vocals, and reverb-loaded guitar riffs toward Hilliard’s emphatic closing guitar solo. The lyrics “when the night comes calling you, you’ll be on your way” foretell a long, winding sonic journey to come on the album.
The album applies dreamy, ’80s-vintage vibes and ambiance to songs of various styles, from the Petty-inspired rock of “Path Paved with Roses” and “Day the World Was Born” to the synth swells of “Choppy Water” and “What Is It About Her”.
Ambitious tracks like the multi-part prog-rock suite “Starlight Child” and the effects-laden “Radio Earth” are interspersed with moments of soulful emotion on songs like “It Ain’t Over ’til the Credits Roll” and “It’s Easy to Give Up (Don’t Give Up Too Easy)”, keeping listeners engaged and surprised throughout the ten-tune set.
“One thing that was special about making this record was really letting the songs choose themselves,” adds Hilliard. “We write a lot and have a good many songs in our live repertoire that did not get selected for the album. This group of ten songs emerged organically. More than anything, for me personally, these ten songs are all lyrically very unique, original ideas. Each song is three-dimensional and has a depth and emotional storyline that will make it something that ages well. This album is designed to grow on you.”
Listen to Choppy Water, the new album from PEAK, on the platform of your choice here or listen below via Spotify.
PEAK – Choppy Water – Full Album
PEAK will celebrate the album’s release on Friday, October 22nd with a special performance at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory featuring support from Asbury Park, NJ’s Waiting On Mongo and Pittsburgh, PA’s Trailheads [get tickets here].
“We’re really looking forward to this hometown throwdown,” says Hilliard of the special performance. “NYC was the last place we played before the pandemic. Since then, we’ve made an album, spent countless hours honing our improvising, and played spring and summer tours. We’re a different band than we were in February of 2020, and we can’t wait to feel the energy in the room when we finally hit the stage in Brooklyn.”
For more information on the PEAK album release show on October 22nd, head to the band’s website here.
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