The UK’s most exciting young live band Peace, release their second album titled Happy People, which entered the UK charts at no 12. They appeared on the cover of the NME and the Guardian Guide and played an apocalyptic show at London’s Heaven where the entire venue turned into one huge hands-in-the-air mosh pit for a frenzied 90 minutes. Noel Fielding, Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy all witnessed the gig of the year, and two days later current single, the grunge influenced sing-a-long ‘I’m a Girl’ went straight on the Radio 1 playlist.
Midlands four piece, Peace, leapt into the hearts of the public with their joyously escapist debut album In Love in 2013. The album attempted to capture the live energy and sense of spontaneity that had made Peace one of the most sought-after live acts in the UK, gracing every tastemaker music front cover, playing two sold out Shepherds Bush Empire shows, and sticking a top 20 debut album in their back pocket. Their heart-on-sleeve indie anthemics, enthusiastic and youthful zing and an ability to write uplifting, soaring choruses saw an army of obsessive fans announce themselves up and down the country, tattooing Peace logos on various body parts and shaving it on the back of their heads.
Something was happening. Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood swapped a pair of his cargo trousers for one of their demos, and Usher elbowed his way through the crowds to watch them at an early SXSW show. The music, in places, nods to the baggy era of the 90s (The Guardian called it ‘baggy meets My Bloody Valentine’) but there’s something more to Peace that is hugely likeable, addictive and compelling in equal parts. Perhaps it’s their endearing and youthful innocence, but equally it might be the appeal of singer Harry Koisser, who some have called music’s most compelling new frontman; a wide-eyed romantic with the dress sense of a young Nicky Wire, and the rock’n’roll swagger of Mick Jagger. Their infamous live shows were born out of a tech house night at ‘The Rainbow’ in Birmingham, where Peace played relentlessly month upon month, slipping in the odd house music cover and garnering an army of fans as they went. It was an ardour and an intensity as well as a strong sense of mischief that carried them onwards: in just a few short years they travelled from late-night, low-paid lives in the Midlands, to a major label deal and international success.
Fast-forward a year and a half, Peace have stepped up from songs for indie clubs, to something much, much bigger. Their second album a Happy People has the kind of ambitious spirit which has the potential of touching lives of millions: “I think it’s because we’ve got such short attention spans that we just always want to do something new and exciting,” says Harry Koisser. “It’s not that we get bored exactly, it’s just that we want to try something different.”
The brilliance of their songs is in their effervescence — in how for all the craft and consideration and studio experimentation, how irresistible and irrepressible and effortless they sound. Theirs are songs of youth and joy, theirs are choruses to be sung loud and en masse, this is the sound of a band on fire. Happy People is out now.