Inspired by a name that has inspired thousands of professional musicians, Peak Futures have arrived with ‘Colours Of The Sun’. Yes, the album indeed does pay homage and rings influence from the renowned Isaac Hayes – a pioneer of Southern Soul music. But at the same time, it manages to do so much more in its around half long runtime. Combining lengthy instrumental breakdowns with operatic lyrics, it works as an eclectic combination of soul music with a more psychedelic rock feel.
“It’s not just about showcasing the great musicians I’m lucky enough to have on the album,” says bassist and producer Chris Hills. “I also feel that sticking to a 3-minute pop single formula is so limiting, especially when it comes to creating an album that has an arc to it that holds together if you actually listen to the whole thing. Which is what I hope people do with Colours of the Sun.” I can’t echo that sentiment enough. Peak Futures is a savant’s album – one that is done a disservice by a partial listen. It needs to be consumed in totality, taking in each song as not an isolated object, but component bricks in a larger superstructure.
Songs like Orion are more classically rock in structure and sound. With a dominating vocal performance, “I wanna walk amongst the stars/Walk With me”, and an infectiously groovy electric solo to follow, it oozes energy. Speaking to Purple Melon, Hills described the song as such: “The theme of the whole album is mainly about gaining self-understanding through a journey to unfamiliar spaces, be they physical, mental or cultural. The wider album threads a path that criss-crosses from the stellar to the earthly and back, touching on both the richness and detail of the everyday as well as the cosmic scale of the universe.”
Whereas a song like Tapestry is a little more offbeat, “I changed my sheets today/It made a change at least for me”, more closer to the soul influences that Hills professes.
The six piece collective, founded by Hills, consists of members Sara De Santis (Piano), Joe Bernie (Vocals), Pauli the PSM (Drums), Eva Brooks ( Backing Vocals) and Rebecca Freckleton ( Backing Vocals). Peak Futures’ sound therefore doesn’t shy away from extended instrumentals or putting a non-vocal part at the fore. Songs like Makes Me Wonder sees the women take the lead role in the vocal display.
Andromeda is about as spacey as the name suggests. Incorporating futuristic soundscapes that feel right out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s eerily ear grabbing. In a way it’s indicative of the feel of the album at large, which seems to draw a line that consistently goes back and forth from the interstellar to the grounded, shedding light on both the mundane and everyday as well as the grandiose and otherworldly. It’s an illuminating experience undoubtedly, and one that is well worth your time.