‘In Love’ (Columbia)
Who said romance was dead? Because the message clearly hasn’t reached Peace, who’ve made this year’s most romantic indie rock album. And really, they couldn’t have dropped ‘In Love’ at a better time, because in an era of hopeless austerity, here’s an album that tells us there’s always hope when it comes to the heart.
Not that Peace gloss over the tricky bits of falling in love – the torturous temptress in ‘Wraith’ is a warning to impressionable romantics everywhere, and Harrison Koisser’s vocals straining over ‘Toxic’’s writhing guitars prove that moving on from a ruined relationship is easier said than done. But these tribulations are counteracted with the head-over-heels positivity of ‘Lovesick’ and glorious closer, ‘California Daze’, with its nostalgic reflections on a past fling.
It’s fitting then, that Peace should reference the music of the 90s, when “double-dip” simply meant extra condiments. The piano in ‘Wraith’, for example, couldn’t sound more Madchester if it was recorded at the Hacienda, while ‘Waste Of Paint’ is equal parts ‘Kinky Afro’ and ‘There’s No Other Way’. This is Peace using 90s sounds to channel that decade’s optimism into something positive for today.