There’s a lot to be said about bands incorporating pop influence into their music. Bring Me the Horizon did it, Paramore did it, and so did a million other bands. Now Emarosa have done it too, and quite honestly, I think they’ve done it the best with the release of their sixth studio album Peach Club.
From post-hardcore beginnings to releasing some of the best alt-rock in their previous album 131, the four-piece have flicked the switch. Say hello to your new favourite pop band, and welcome to Peach Club. Leave your coats at the door, because it’s getting VERY hot in here.
Kicking off in the best way possible, the album begins with its lead single “Givin’ Up”. Released in November 2018, I quickly declared the track to be my song of the year and possibly the best pop song I had ever heard. Everything about it feels perfect, from the brass band culminating in an incredible saxophone solo to the thumping beat. The song is the dictionary definition of an ass-shaker.
Similarly, Peach Club’s next two tracks were both singles, with their track listing coinciding with their release order. From “Don’t Cry”, a slow and emotive pure pop piece into the energetic and anything but careful “Cautious”, the change in mood is dramatic but the songs are irresistible. The songs feel so inspired by 80’s era pop icons Michael Jackson and Prince, but with an irrefutable modern twist that makes them truly special.
Despite the change in genre, these songs still maintain the essence of Emarosa so well. While it’s undeniably a fully-fledged pop record, the band have managed to maintain that little bit of grit and edge that has always defined them. Working with producer Courtney Ballard for the first time, everything about the release feels so polished and clean and whilst at times such sharp production can go amiss, I’d daresay they’ve hit the nail on the head with this one.
As the album continues there’s no reprieve from the incredibly crafted bubble-gum pop. The left-field “So Bad” sounds inspired by The 1975. It’s a little bit disco, like the kind of song you’d expect to hear at a roller derby, yet conversely it still feels so modern.
At other times, the band seem to have found a healthy middle ground between their past and where they are now. Tracks like “Help You Out” and “Wait, Stay” really don’t feel that far from the band’s previous releases, yet the pop sensibilities that are now going to define the band are ever present.
Thematically, Peach Club is as diverse as it is musically. The entire album feels like it could form the soundtrack to thousands of classic movies and millions of different scenes. If you put “Don’t Cry” over the top of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis’ sex scene in Top Gun, I guarantee you that it’ll sound just as good.
In the same way, the album seems to cover a lot of ground lyrically. “Hell Of It” seems so carefree and risqué, like the band are revelling in their alt-pop glow up. “Cautious” details the implications of sex after heartbreak, while “Get Back Up”, identified by Walden as the most special track on the album, is dedicated to his mother and how she dealt with hell to keep their family together.
I don’t listen to a large amount of pop music, but I’m confident that Peach Club is the kind of album that most pop artists dream of making. Nothing feels shallow or forced like it was just done for the sake of it, it’s so clear that this is the band that Emarosa were always meant to be. Like emerging from a cocoon, Peach Club signals the final stage of Emarosa’s metamorphosis into a glitter-soaked butterfly.
It’s 80’s pop with a seductive modern twist and even having been born in 1997, I can’t help but feel nostalgic listening to these songs. Peach Club is a little bit of MJ, a dash of Taylor Swift, and a hell of a lot of Emarosa and without a shadow of a doubt one of the most enjoyable albums I’ve ever heard. It’s a testament to the fact that through pure passion and love for music, anything is possible.
Emarosa are Bradley Walden (vocals), ER White (lead guitar), Robert Joffred (bass) and Matthew Marcellus (rhythm guitar).
This is pop at it’s very finest. It’s a celebration of the artists that Walden fell in love with growing up and a product of pure passion and love. We’re in February and I think my album of the year is out.
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