Allie Hanlon’s PEACH KELLI POP returns after 2 years with a 6 song EP, Which Witch, available exclusively at independent record shops for RSD 2018 via Mint Records.
In December 2017, Hanlon spent a week in her hometown of Ottawa, Canada. She recorded the EP in just four days, utilizing the dust-coated equipment left in her bedroom after she emigrated to the United States in 2013. “I really benefited from being in the specific home, and even room where I learned to play music when I was growing up.”
Upon first listen, a new level of vulnerability is detectable, effectively separating this release from any of the bands previous creations. This new intimacy is due to the predominantly autobiographical lyrics: songs about isolation, depression and feeling like an outsider in Hanlon’s current home of Los Angeles. Nevertheless, she is markedly optimistic about the future; “I am proud of these songs, and working with Mint feels like both serendipity & destiny at the same time. I’ve been a big fan of Mint since I started going to shows and getting into punk music.”
Hanlon intentionally returned to where she first started Peach Kelli Pop in 2010. Eight years later, the band has toured extensively (including annual trips to Japan), has 3 full length albums and a handful of 7” releases.
Which Witch is akin to the Red Cross’ Posh Boy EP - both have 6 songs, each close to a minute long. All 4 members of Peach Kelli Pop are outspoken Redd Kross fans; which comes as no surprise: the band is named after a Redd Kross song. Hanlon, originally a drummer (most notably from the White Wires), plays unadorned, archetypal punk drums, layers them with fuzzy, at times warbling guitars, elaborate basslines, and layers of fervent vocals.
“Pitch Black”, the EPs opener, sets the tone with lyrics detailing stress and self-doubt. “Shine”, tackles the chaos and pain involved in loving someone struggling with addiction. “Rocky Mountains” describes trekking up steep mountains and being frozen and blinded by snow and ice. It quickly shifts from hard hitting drums and overdrive guitar, into dreamlike, shimmering vocals and chorus, and then back into a thick wall of distortion, featuring Hanlon animatedly chanting, shouting and screaming. The final track, “Drugstore’s Symbol of Happiness” is the most intimate and tranquil. Hanlon’s vocals about self-discovery and love are up close and quiet, soothing and serene.
On earlier material, Hanlon’s voice was passive, frequently inaudible and blanketed in reverb. Those days are gone; She now sings with confidence and clarity, demonstrating a refreshing assertiveness not seen before in her work. Which Witch holds the first glimpse of an evolution, a new stage in which Hanlon is finally no longer holding back.