PEAKES are Molly Puckering (vocals), Maxwell Shirley (keyboards) and Pete Redshaw (drums). Formed whilst the three were studying in Leeds, since graduating from university they’ve been working solidly on their music; developing what they describe as an ‘atmospheric pop’ sound. The trio say they share very different musical influences and bring together their styles into ‘a melting pot of larger than life pop and trip-hop’. Peakes are at the forefront of the burgeoning Yorkshire synthpop scene and have made waves with their recent Space EP.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s the story behind Peakes and how would you describe your sound?
Molly: We all met at Uni in Leeds. Max and I kinda wrote some dreamy songs together and then Pete hit some drums over them. I think Pete whipped us into action. Saying that, it still took us a year to play our first show.
Max: We want to make new sounds and textures – stuff that you might not expect in pop music. We want to have a bit of fun with the sounds we use – play with atmosphere and tension.
What motivates you and inspires your music, aesthetic and vibe?
Molly: It’s so important to be creative, there’s nothing better than that. I think for a lot of people my age we feel quite powerless and without control of our future. Making music feels like the only thing we have full control over, y’know it’s whatever we want it to be. You might not like it, but you can’t take it off us!
Leeds doesn’t have a real pedigree when it comes to synthpop and electronica – at least in recent years. How is your sound being received locally -and further afield?
Pete: In a city where the music scene is led by guitar bands, it’s great to see people latching onto some synth. We’ve recently done a few stripped back shows which have just been synths, samples and vocals making a more intimate performance and they’ve felt good too. At the risk of hubris, we sold out our first London show last week (at Servant Jazz Quarters – Ed) so I think it’s being received ok.
Could you tell us a bit more about your most recent single, Space? The video for the track is quite visually striking – how did that come about? Is there an underlying theme to the video?
Molly: Fiona, the director, came to us with a concept about exploring vulnerability and friendship with two dancers and to confront the construct of masculinity. She basically ‘got’ what the song was about so we couldn’t be happier.
What’s up next for Peakes? Any upcoming gigs, new releases on the horizon, other projects?
Max: We’re about to go in the studio with one of our favourite producers of recent times, we’re going to have to be a tease and not name any names though in case it goes terribly!
Molly: We’ve got our last show of the year this Sunday at Oporto in Leeds. We’re doing something with the guys behind Mahogany sessions soon as well which might be out by the end of the year.