There are times when you hear a track and really love it – but can’t quite put your finger on why that’s the case. For most people this is not a problem; but for somebody who writes about music it’s stifling. Words that mostly come freely don’t and you’re left staring at a blank page. You’re a beginner in your craft trying hard to deny the feelings of failure. You are nothing more than a novice… Ah, there we go…
Today’s track is called ‘The Novice’ by a London-based duo, Peploe. It’s been out for a couple of months now but I remain keen to bring it to the attention of Sonic Breakfast readers because it’s a great song to hear. It’s a ‘pick and mix’ of genres, an almighty mash-up that comes together to work as a whole. Gabrielle’s immediate vocal line comes from a soul-mod base whilst the glitchy, staccato rhythm emerging from Arvid’s drumming is drawing influence from electro-jazz. There are key changes a plenty; wild and wacky creative flourishes that keep you on your toes as your head learns to cope with the complexities within. Somehow though, what could be an almighty muddle never becomes so. This is a simple, futuristic pop song – genius.
And the video is quite neat as well. We’re all missing parties and interaction and this is Peploe’s attempt to deal with the fact that social events are limited for many. Arvid and Gabrielle plaster their faces onto the bodies of guests at parties in an attempt to remind us all that fun can still be had. It’s been well received.
I ask Peploe about 2021 and their future plans. “2021 has been a bit slow, we’ve been itching to start gigging!!“, they say. “Though the silver lining is that we’ve been writing a lot of music that we’re excited to release soon. A real highlight was the amazing reaction we received to the release of ‘The Novice’ and its music video. The first thing we’ll do when the restrictions lift is hug our friends! After that, we’ll make the gigging a reality. 🙂”
Sonic Breakfast can’t wait for that reality. We’re not absolute beginners when it comes to writing about gigs.
I knew Teresa at high school. I can’t pretend I knew her well. We chatted once or twice and found common ground in our mutual desire to get out of the town at the earliest possible opportunity. But I don’t think Teresa ever left. As we got older, I found a higher education route out and rarely returned but Teresa was too much of a drifter to focus on her study. When I asked about her, friends would tell me that they’d seen her crumpled in the corner at the town nightclub. I stopped asking about her and Teresa stopped going out. I’m not sure where she is now.
Poploader, a German indie guitar pop trio from Regensburg, are absolutely not to be confused with Toploader, the much derided indie rock band from Eastbourne. Poploader is a ‘kind of new project’ whereas Toploader, by common consensus, should have given up years ago. And Poploader have recently released a vital, energetic slice of mod-fuelled, off-kilter light-punk pop with their single, Teresa. To my knowledge, Toploader have never released anything near as interesting.
Poploader are only a ‘kind of new project’ because Markus, Rainer and Thomas have known each other for years. They played in bands together back when Toploader were just starting out but then lost touch with each other. Reuniting twenty years later over a few beers and a love of Star Wars, they decide to begin again. On the evidence of their two singles released so far, this was a wise decision to make.
I ask Markus who the ‘Teresa’ in their song is. “The name “Teresa” is representative of all the lonely souls who are increasingly lost in solitude in search of better days, familiar people and positive experiences.“, he tells me in response.
It sounds uncannily like the Teresa that I once knew at high school. But there’s a reason for this. I might have known people like Teresa back then but I didn’t actually know anybody called Teresa. This blog gives me the licence to wander between fact and fiction and I made her up. I apologise for my deceit.
Poploader end their press releases with ‘May the pop be with you’. I like that.