The local dreamy pop and surfy rock combo Deep Sea Peach Tree have picked up their reverb pedals and are set to go out on the road once again, and they started it all off with an intimate early show at Mercury Lounge on Wednesday night. They have been chillaxing on the NYC music scene for several years now, but they are worth not sleeping on, as they always bring a groovy heat to their shows that is totally captivating. Their beachy tunes helped heat up this cold January night, and enchanted me into a sleepy dream trance of summer nights napping under the moonlight, as the sounds of waves splashed up to my feet.
The expansive ensemble from Queens called Self-Help started the show off with some impressively spacey jams to expand the mind. They trip out with trippy psychedelic sound, but the jamming was all very aboveboard classic rock quality, and it was quite fun to space out to. Last year’s Self-Help Cash Cow was a killer album, and I look forward to hearing more from them very soon.
Next up was Minneapolis native Maya Lucia who has an easy laid-back style all her own. She rocks out with some catchy pop melodies and occasionally flirts with some harder jams, but she always has a certain smooth surf rock appeal, and that beach-bound alt garage appeal is undoubtably why she is going out on the road with Deep Sea Peach Tree on this tour. She has apparently been writing music since he was 8 years old and the strength of her songwriting shows how much talent and passion she’s been building up in that time – I will say her 2022 miss girl world EP is pure creative gold. She has been bicoastal much of her career, but she has been absolutely tearing up the local NYC live scene for some time now, and her whole band put on a lively and powerful live performance worth coming out to rock along to.
Deep Sea Peach Tree is the smooth merging of frontman and guitarist Kristof Denis with longtime bassist and friend Andrew Dell Isola, along with recent additions guitarist Neel Madala, and drummer Trevor Schlam (whom also plays with Maya Lucia’s band). Together they form a chilled-out surf rock sound, which seems out of place in the big cold apple, but Denis apparently spent his youth heading out of his Manhattan home to surf the waves and taking the subway to the many nearby beaches – that may help explain his chilled out tone and the resulting airy mellow tunes from which you can almost smell the beach from. The band does create a thick mix of sound that has strong shoegaze inclinations, as well as some nice tricky jazz touches that can keep you guessing when you least expect it. The funky guitar intro to their early hit from 2017’s Vaguely Navy called “Strawberry Milk” gets me grooving every time; and was a particular highlight of the set, as was their song “Xanzibar” which was an enchanting and funky little single from a few years back that they just released a live version of, and hearing it in person feels like falling into a deeply dreamy hallucination. They’ll be touring this whole month of January, warming up crowds on both the East and West Coasts and saving us from those harsh winter chills, and I hope to hear plenty of new stuff coming from these guys soon.
Article/Words: Dean Keim