Review by Shannon Shumaker
I’m not going to lie, usually when someone tells me that a band “sounds like Passion Pit” when pitching them to me, I’m quick to write them off. It’s not that I don’t like Passion Pit, but I feel that a band can only sound so similar to them without sounding exactly like them – it’s a hard genre of music to stand out in. That being said, this is not a review on Passion Pit, this is a review on SPEAK’s new album Pedals, and I must say, I’m incredibly glad that I decided to give this album a listen, regardless of how anybody described them to me.
Honestly, Pedals feels like just the album I’ve been searching for. From the first song that I decided to listen to (which was “Mystery Lights” and I highly recommend that one to get you started on these guys) I knew that this was going to be a phenomenal album. I feel like, at least once every month, I find myself looking for a new artist to fall in love with, and this month’s artist was definitely SPEAK. While they’re slightly reminiscent of artists like Passion Pit at times, with some Ratatat-esque guitar parts thrown in the mix, the band has their own unique sound, and that’s what really sold them to me.
While a lot of the songs on the album are upbeat and dancy (“Gates”, “Nightlight” and “Peaks” just to name a few) there are also some slow songs thrown into the mix, and it makes for a nice contrast, as well as a chance to really appreciate the musicianship and songwriting on this great album. The slower songs, especially “This Much I Know” have a very light, airy and almost mystical quality about them, while the higher-energy, more upbeat songs are definitely feel-good tracks that I will be jamming to in my car and listening to all summer long.
There are some artists and albums that I can only really listen to when I’m in the mood for them, but thankfully, Pedals is not one of them. It’s a great record to jam to regardless of if you’re sitting at home relaxing, driving down the highway or walking home from work with your headphones in, shutting out the world. SPEAK just seems like one of those artists that could play anything from huge festival stages to smaller, intimate shows and they’d kill it either way, and Pedals is definitely going to be the album to put them there.
Listen to "Mystery Lights"