Review by Colin Steele
I really like this album. I really like this band. I spend most of my time listening to the most brutal music I can find, but I also have a very unashamed hippie that lives inside of me. My late father raised me on lots of psychedelic music, both on the blues side as well as the folk. Minnesota-based husband and wife duo Jack and Tessa O’Connor have found a great sound together. The music is as raw as the emotion. They aren’t the most conventionally wonderful sounding singers, but that’s honestly the point. These are two regular people who want to sing to us about love, peace, and harmony. That in and of itself is beautiful (told you I’m a hippie). With their 3rd offering, Jupiter Beach, The Peace Life bring influences from a myriad of different artists. The lead track, “Bubba’s Pie Blues” is like a tie-dyed swirl of Grateful Dead, Moldy Peaches, and The Mamas & The Papas. Its mellow, yet catchy. It makes me want to feel what they feel. “Awakening Vibration” is something I would expect to hear on The Beach Boys psychedelic landmark Pet Sounds. The next track, “Ethenogen” reminds me of some of the neo-psych bands of the early 90’s (think The Cranberries or Sixpence None The Richer). They have created a great marriage (pun intended) between the indie/alt-folk style and the more authentic 60’s hippie-folk. It doesn’t sound retro or gimmicky. It sounds real and honest. A lot of music like this gets passed off as almost quaint, but I think it still resonates with a lot of people. My father always told me I was born 30 years too late. I’m glad to hear others that seem to be in the same boat. The last two songs, “Sweet Spain” and “How To Survive A Dust Bowl” have Jack leading the vocals as opposed to coming in later with harmonies. This gives the songs more of a Moldy Peaches feel but also remind of of the more trippy early psych bands like The Electric Prunes or Strawberry Alarm Clock. Whatever the The Peace Life are doing, they’re doing it well and they’re doing it right. Make love, not war.