The sound of PEAKES has always been steeped in isolation, crafting hymnal electro-pop that floats, weightless and suspended, over the world they move through. Using the lens of nostalgia as a kind of refuge, their synth-led dreamscapes defy any sense of time and place: their sound is both current, yet transportive like a memory.
Since their formation in 2017, vocalist Molly Puckering, synth-player and producer Max Shirley and drummer Pete Redshaw, have been solidifying what it means to be PEAKES. With a smattering of EPs and singles laying out their statement of intent, each one a run-up growing in momentum, their trajectory was clear: get into the studio and bring the music to the stage. This was the plan for the Leeds-based trio in 2020 – until the world stopped. No one could have predicted that touring and recording, an artist’s lifeblood, would grind to a global halt, and PEAKES could never have predicted that in a year defined by impossibilities, they would make their debut album, Peripheral Figures.
“I think last year, when you had everything taken away from you, it made it easier to try something new,” says Molly. Having released their four-track EP ‘Pre-Invented World’ on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic, amidst the world’s disorder, their music fell into a void: the appetite for new music had understandably dried up, and there was nothing PEAKES could do to change that. So rather than dwell on it, they took a step back and returned to the drawing board and went back to basics, learning to fall in love with music again through the purest sense of creation.
Yet despite the logistical hurdles they had to overcome during the pandemic, where ten minutes might as well have been ten thousand miles away, Peripheral Figures is their most personal, hands-on project yet – and it’s entirely their own. Molly recorded her vocals in the wardrobe of her bedroom, while Pete’s drums were sent in a file-sharing back and forth over email: a departure from the sessions they’d had with producers in fully-fledged studios. “This is the closest that we wanted everything to sound like,” Max says. “Whereas before, it was someone else’s vision too, this time, we’ve had the final say, and it feels great.”