Peach Pit’s ‘From 2 to 3’ remains banal indie pop

Photo of the Peach Pit album cover
Columbia Records/Courtesy

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Grade: 2.5/5.0

Hailing from Vancouver, indie band Peach Pit has proved its ability to produce extraordinary, fun music. Since 2017, the group has released three studio albums, a handful of EPs and singles, each project capturing a playful exterior with tunes about unrequited love from the girl next door. It’s blaringly cliche, but nonetheless, the group has cultivated a niche audience willing to hang on every word.

From 2 to 3, the most recent record, tries but fails to fine-tune the band’s sound. Past albums balanced the genre’s quintessential warmth and carelessness while still providing substance and perfect eclecticism. From 2 to 3 lacks this carelessness, and instead, the 11-track album lingers too long in slow, acoustic melodies that sorely contrast lead vocalist Neil Smith’s sound. 

Perhaps this is what makes a typical Peach Pit record: the banality and thoughtlessness of a basic indie album with little to uncover after a four-chord progression. From 2 to 3 attempts to be something the band is not, with each slow ballad like nails on a chalkboard. Fans may be entranced by this change, but other indie bands have already mastered aching acoustic and self-loathing. Lyrics that were once endearing and youthful sound rote and disingenuous, and Peach Pit’s venture into the emotional ballad falls short. 

The first track on the record, “Up Granville,” sets demandingly high expectations. The track blends its characteristic optimism with a laidback cadence. “Up Granville” has the group’s methodology down: an ascending guitar progression with lyrics such as “Even at the cocaine continental/ Laughing at the way you cut your lines,” that melt into Smith’s breezy vocals. It’s exactly what the listener is looking for in a Peach Pit album, where its overall coolness shines through for an easy listen. 

“Vickie,” the following track, attempts to imitate this allure. Yet, the track’s Tumblr-esque, fanfiction-like lyrics set it up for sabotage.  “If you lived right down the street/ Would I ever have to buy more weed when I’m low,” Smith sings, a cringeworthy image. Aren’t musicians nearing 30 a little too old for the “it girl” and “skater boy” trope? Similarly hollow lyrics follow many of the tracks on From 2 to 3, and the song’s slow composition does nothing but highlight the awkward fit.

A rare winner in an album that has slim to none is the track “2015.” It’s a love song where Smith admits vulnerabilities through a soft-spoken chorus and tranquilizing melody. The track avoids centering itself around the one-sided self indulgence that often happens with confessing strong feelings. Instead the lyrics promise a relationship of comfort, color and feeling alive. The themes coalesce with the track’s optimistic tune, soliciting the perfect kind of fuzzy feeling. 

It’s difficult to write a good love song that doesn’t slip through the cracks of awkwardness or discomfort. Peach Pit’s fatal flaw on From 2 to 3 is the incessant mention of drugs on the tracks. Possibly striving to be relevant with a younger audience, drugs are mentioned often enough to be, at best, boring, and, at worst, concerning. Being “stoned,” “taking drugs from your sock drawer” or even just being drunk is a lyrical crutch, clouding songs of flattery with love for a good high. The disingenuity of these lyrics add to the overall clunkiness and lack of coherency apparent on the album. 

From 2 to 3 is uninspired indie pop that attempts to perform emotional love ballads and finds disastrously awkward tracks instead. The album saves itself in a few leisurely tunes that lean into Peach Pit’s stereotypical indie sound. But other than those, there’s no need for a second listen.

Contact Kaitlin Clapinski at [email protected].