Every music journalist or a blogger can confirm this to be true – there are weeks when one receives 100 PR emails and there is not a single thing worth writing about in them. Almost like 100 channels on your cable TV and not a one good movie to watch. Or 100 shows on Netflix and nothing but sequels or repeats are on. And then, a humble email arrives with a polite question – would the reviewer mind listening to this band? Of course the reviewer clicks on the link, the music starts and the whole world just stops – you are now alone with the song. It’s a rare feeling and we love when it happens. It means we found something good, something that moves us, something we want to shout from the rooftops about.
When the email from Vandalism Begins At Home arrived earlier this week, we had no idea that by the end of the day, we would have found a true gem. They are called PeachStone, they are a duo: Hollie Knowles and Matt Briars. We can try to classify them as an alt-pop or electro-indie or bedroom pop – but whatever the label, they know what they are doing. And they have ambition to show the world how good they can be. We sat down with them to speak about their newest single “By Now”, working with an independent record label and their plans for a glorious musical future.
Bio: Peachstone embrace the sound of90s American grrl-pop and dream-pop, while blending contemporary influences like Wolf Alice, a dynamic which has been hailed as possessing the same celestial beauty as 90s favourites The Sundays and Lush. Although it may often rain in Peachstone’s world, they’re guaranteed to create a soothing euphony against your windowpane, as they bring enough melodic sunshine to dispel the gloom for glory. Teaming with DIY label Vandalism Begins At Home Records, the release of “By Now” will pave the way towards the physical release of the EP which will be available on their Bandcamp this spring.
You have been making music for a few years now but remained relatively low key. Please introduce the band to the wider circuit. It`s your time to shine.
Holly: We met through playing in different bands and eventually started writing together with hopes of starting a band. Lockdown gave us the push to finish recording our EP and get it released! Since then, the lovely folks at VB@H Records have kindly taken us under their wing and we’ve been working on putting together a full band line-up, so we can start playing gigs. Bassists, if you’re reading this – we need you!
First thing we got to say is that we absolutely love the fact that this project is 100% DIY – from writing to production and visual representation of your EP. Full creative control. Do you find it easier or harder to oversee every aspect of your music?
Matt: It can be a blessing and a curse! Being able to self-produce gives us more freedom to experiment with our sound and work to our own timelines. DIY definitely has its constraints but it was fun figuring out how we could best use our different skills to tackle those challenges.
Holly: On the other hand, producing every aspect ourselves has been very labour intensive (particularly video editing, who knew?!) and we might need a bit more help on our next project…
Can you tell us how you approach working on songs? Do you exchange ideas or leave it to each other to compose separately?
Holly: We’re constantly writing riffs and melodies on our own, but it usually takes the other person to get excited about an idea before we realise it’s worth pursuing!
Matt: We tend to write as we record, adding a drum track is usually the point when it starts to come alive.
In January last year you decided to change your name to Peachstone. Weren’t you afraid that you will have to start everything from scratch?
Matt: We were forced to changed our name in January 2021 – luckily our EP had only been out for a month, we were mostly afraid of the admin involved! We realised another band was already using our old name and there had been a few mix ups, we figured it was probably less hassle to change sooner rather than later.
The EP is finally getting a physical release this year though Vandalism Begins at Home. How do you find yourselves to be part of an indie label?
Holly: We were very lucky. VB@H found us through Instagram when we released our first single and started reviewing/featuring us in different issues of their zine, also offering us some much needed advice on self-promotion. They invited us to join their label roster late last year and were already home to some great local bands, so we knew we’d be in safe hands!
You have been compared to Lush and The Sundays but we swear we can hear some inspirations from Mazzy Star, Kristin Hersh and even REM. Who are your ultimate musical heroes?
Holly: We have so many! We both have a mutual love of Wolf Alice, Fleetwood Mac and Best Coast.
Matt: My all-time heroes would have to include Johnny Marr, Slash, Alice In Chains and Metallica. Holly is a lifelong Paramore fangirl who also loves Jenny Lewis, Alvvays and Veruca Salt.
We would also like to touch a bit on your lyrics: melancholic, bittersweet, intimate – almost like pages out of a private diary. Do you write about your own experiences or prefer to create stories for the purpose of your songs?
Holly: A lot of the lyrics are from personal experience. I’ve always been crap at keeping a diary, so they’re the only way I end up documenting anything! However, I’m really interested in using lyric – writing to explore situations I haven’t necessarily experienced first-hand. I got to do a bit of that with our song 1987 (which was inspired by a Black Mirror episode) and I’m planning to do more in the future!
Do you plan to tour in the coming months? Where can we see you live?
Matt: Touring is definitely on our to-do list. We’re aiming to finalise our live line-up and begin playing gigs before the end of summer, hopefully starting with some local venues.
If anyone – journalists or promoters – want to get in touch with you, what is the best way to reach you?
Holly: You reach us via email at email@example.com or find us on the main SM platforms as @peachstonemusic.
We know it may be a bit too early but wanted to ask anyway – are you working on any new music? If so, when can we expect new material from Peachstone?
Holly: We’ve been slowly collecting ideas since the last EP and are planning on using the summer to really get back into writing and recording – we’ll see what happens!
Last questions at Indiererria are usually a bit of harmless fun. Imagine you were asked to score a major movie or a Netflix TV series. Where are you having your music featured?
Matt: Probably some kind of dark comedy with a nostalgic feel – like “Sex Education” or “End of the F***ing World”!
Follow Peachstone on social media at:
Pictures by Matt Briars
Text: Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz
Cover and logo by Peachstone/Vandalism Begins @ Home