Trying To Get To You

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Undeniable Peaches

I haven’t paid much attention to Peaches since her debut album, 2000’s The Teaches Of Peaches. I loved “Fuck The Pain Away,” a song from that album that defines the term “underground classic.” But I stopped looking out for her, and we had no chance encounters.

That was until recently, when I got her new album, I Feel Cream. I like the album, but there’s one song, “Talk To Me,” that I’m absolutely, positively floored by. It’s like a cross between Betty Davis and Johnny Rotten, and it’s one of the purest (and most likely, unintentional) fusions of punk and soul that I’ve ever heard, in it’s blend of raw vulnerability and hot-tempered demand.

Instrumentally, the song is obviously based in electro, but the construction of the song is rooted in the blues, and when Peaches sings the lyrics that are a plea for communication from a lover who is hiding out, she is absolutely impossible to ignore – she pierces the air, grabs you by the throat and makes you deal with what she has to say. She manages to convey everything – frustration, lust, anger, desire and pain in a little over three minutes. Most artists don’t do that in three years.

Peaches is the kind of artist that Johnny Rotten wanted to see more of back in the halcyon days of the emergence of punk in England; original characters who invented themselves, unshackled by the past, confrontational, subversive and completely authentic. In that, she’s a true inheritor of punk in ways that most of those awful bands on the Warped tour will never be. And she’s a punk with soul.