By Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
Tuck yourself under the covers and drift away with the lush electronica vibe, Peppermint Cloud Club aka Chris Chen are sending out. Cascading into your ears, the tunes from Chen take shelter in your mind once played a few times. The self-titled album sports some fairly impressive falsetto alongside the ebb and flow of melodic guitar licks. Influenced by a band of merry men from The Beatles to the Bee Gees you can definitely hear the inclination these greats have had in the song compositions as multiple genres fuse to mould this retro take on dream pop.
‘Feeling Better’ is the best groove takedown I’ve heard within the past few months. Accompanied by riffs I could easily place at a Last Dinosaurs gig and fluidity on the bass that has me reminiscing of Perth Jazz Festival, there’s no denying Chen’s skill for honing multiple instruments has resulted in smooth tonal rhythm the divine music gods bless few with.
A slightly down-tempo take on ‘70s funk, ‘Alive’ encompasses all the elements that inject a fluidity within your muscles. The gritty piano and guitar runs are the definition of easy-listening whilst Chen’s vocal ascension through his harmonies cancel out any jolted falsettos earlier in the track.
There’s something I can’t shake about Chen’s vocal tone that has me comparing him to Sean Caskey and ‘Conversations’ made that even more evident in the drift away quality Peppermint Cloud Club carried. Donning scattered notes to give off the effect of a light summer storm, ‘Conversations’ is a chilled electronica wave, with the occasional high tide of echoes reminiscent of Porter Robinson’s ‘Worlds’ vocal work.
Musically, ‘Rainy Days’ had me placing it on a pedestal. The smattering of hip-hop beats and jaunty keys fade into the white noise of rainfall and there’s something calming about it. It’s admirable when an artist who is so vocally strong subtracts their voice from the equation to craft an instrumental plateau for your audio pleasure.
Joining Peppermint Cloud Club for ‘Won’t You Stay’, Brittany Barber’s vocal harmonies make me think Chen should consider Barber as one of the crew. The ballad is simple in composition but it’s right up there with ‘Rainy Days’ and ‘Conversations’ and with Peppermint Cloud Club’s compilation of the variety of songs he’s written over the past few years he’s definitely proved to be a worthwhile listen. Showcasing such a spectrum of genre melding, the album would be hard to pass up to any local music fans and my ears are certainly all the better for it thanks to the unique blend of sounds.