PEAKES make loneliness feel like the most seductive experience in the world. True outsiders, the Leeds based three-piece construct vivid alt-pop hymns, while their precocious musicality matches ambient electronics – think Aphex Twin, Brian Eno – to surging melodics, and a divine sense of sound.
Vocalist Molly Puckering is a postwoman by day, making her solitary rounds in a city that was never intended to be home. She’s that lone voice up front, her searingly personal vocals channelling a rare degree of emotion amid those beautifully balanced electronics from Maxwell Shirley.
PEAKES are in a perpetual state of flux, a group of self-admitted perfectionists who refuse to release anything they're not happy with. Debut EP 'Space' may have been concise, but it exploded with fresh ideas, with new ways of looking at music.
“We’re trying to make interesting sounds but in quite an accessible way,” explains Maxwell. “It’s a pop scenario. Electronic ambient sounds but in a pop context.”
Forever chasing down new points of inspiration, PEAKES recently hooked up with producer Richard Formby – known for his work with Wild Beasts, amongst many others – to work on fresh material at a rather off-the-beaten-track location in the Yorkshire countryside.
"It’s an old wool factory, which is still in use," explains Molly. "It’s this tiny little room, and it’s got loads of yarn piled up and furniture left behind!"
Far out in the rolling Yorkshire landscape, PEAKES are able to let their imaginations run unhindered. Even here, though, Molly still can't quite find peace, recording her vocals entirely alone, cut off from the rest of the world. "I don’t really like recording in the room with everyone else," she admits. "I like going into a completely dark room on my own and feeling quite isolated. For me, that always brings out the best performance."
The communication, the interplay between each member makes PEAKES what it is, and what it can be. The three believe in one another – from those frosted vocals, the fluid electronics, and Pete Redshaw's expertly controlled drumming – to become a self-contained pop unit divorced from the outside world. “I think it’s quite damaging to focus on influences,” adds Molly. “The whole reason we got together was to write. We take influence from each other, rather than other artists."
Their whole lives consumed by music, PEAKES are pursuing a solitary path, but it's one laden with artistic rewards. The group are already fixated on their new EP, while recent London shows have found sold out audiences following their every step. But at the end of each show they simply have to get back in the van and drive through the night, so Molly can kick off her postal round in the morning.
"We're all so committed to the band, and to writing songs," she continues. "And we spend so much time on that, that we’re not going to let anything else get in the way of it."
It's obvious, really. PEAKES need one another. And in this lonely, fractured world, each of them need PEAKES. "We’re all so dependant on each other," the singer observes. "We all have to be on the same page, and we all have to put that effort in. Otherwise, what’s the point? You all have to believe in each other".
Robin Murray (2018)