Peter & Kerry - La Trimouille
Slight London based duo Peter & Kerry have teased existing fans with acoustic covers on video for a while, gigged intimately and generally just gone around quietly winning the hearts of unsuspecting listeners.
Their debut La Trimouille was mostly written and recorded in a relatively remote French village, away from the trials and noise pollution of the city they call home. Unlike a Bon Iver-esque mountain-hut inspired introverted album however, what’s bubbled up is a maddeningly catchy but intelligently written, tender and modestly assured nine tracks.
The crux of the matter is both Peter & Kerry’s wonderful lyrics and the even more dulcet tones of their voices; the latter husky, more powerful, the former smooth and with an attractive, slightly nasal intonation. 'Split for the City' is a perfect antidote to tiresome pop songs whose main thematic concerns stretche to just a ropy analogy for sex (or lack thereof) before straining themselves badly and being retired to the mediocrity bin. A wry narrative of an equally strained relationship, the track contains gems like "Cook you that French cuisine that you think I like, keep up the roleplay, your loving happy wife - but what you don’t know and I'll never tell you is that; I don't miss you, I watch TV all day, drink cocktails at 12....but this isn’t personal" resonate without ever feeling too tongue-in-cheek.
Of course, the instrumentation is more than up to the challenge. Tunng-ian in its quirky fusion of folk, pop guitar lines with toy-like synth hits, sparse but varied percussion, they’ve really very quickly developed a sound they can confidently call their own. Wonderful vocal harmonies, the occasionally more left-field instrumentation, and a good sense of when to pair a track back, P&K are clearly sensitive, mature song-writers, something best demonstrated on stand-out highlight 'Fucking Around'.
The album doesn't let up either, switching up the pace and mood as effortlessly as they serve up ear-worms of monstrous proportions, probably at their most terrifying on 'Annie', another narrative track that underwrites a great call-and-response with a seriously satisfying staccato bass line.
All told, a debut that stylistically references Hot Chip, Tunng, The Postal Service and lesser lights of that ilk, but quickly establishes its own identity and holds tights to it throughout. With so little to criticize I'm left only with hope for even more experimentation and differentiation in their future material. The half hour offering pings along and just like its creators, is petite but perfectly formed.