Monday, February 10, 2014

PEP: 50's Pop with a Modern Twist

PEP—a 6 piece band set out to put a unique flare on 50’s pop music.  Tomorrow, the band will release their debut record "My Baby and Me" which you can download by visiting their website,  After talking to lead singer Karys, I’m pretty convinced that everyone is going to want to get their hands on this interesting blend of sounds.  “PEP…is paying its respects to an era that has pretty much disappeared.  The Doo-Wop Era was such a momentous atmosphere and a lot of the genuine, raw vocal harmonies and musicianship has been lost.  We’re trying to recover that and pay homage to that era while at the same time putting our own modern spin on it,” explains Karys.

50’s pop music may sound completely out of the norm for someone to be pursuing in 2014, and it is, however it is this rare approach that separates PEP from other artists.  So, why 50s pop?  Karys was swift and confident in her response, “What I think what is great about the 50s, [is that] even the ways in which it was recorded and the warm sounds you get from those vintage records—more than all of that, I think what defines the du-op genre is the vocal harmonies.”  She notes also, that her urge to write in this style was naturally inspired by her love of the era.

Currently, the group’s single and a video, “Stephen”, is one of the ways in which they have introduced the world to their music.  “Stephen” tells of “a wayward lover” as Karys so gracefully describes.  The song’s lyrics, which many can relate to, go on to tell the story of a lover wanting her partner to wait for her while she is gone—that lover being Stephen, of course.  Unfortunately, the situation does not turn out as planned.  Karys admits that the video concept is something that she had wanted to do for a while.  “I watched a lot of videotape to live performances by doo-wop groups in the late 50s and 60s.” They are such an incredible blend of tackiness and sincerity…yet when you are watching these videos you feel such a genuine feeling of warmth and that you can relate,” this is something that she wanted to recreate. 

With the record being released tomorrow, I had to ask: what exactly the fans can be expecting from this production, “What you can expect is pretty standard doo-wop-y songs.  They’re not as edgy as some of our newer stuff, they are very easy to digest and have some modern qualities to it, but pretty much they are going to throw you into the past a little bit.” Karys promises that the combination of people that are in the band brings a nice touch to all of their music.  Each and every one of them put their own influences into the songs, which allows them to come together so pleasantly that it’s heard to turn away.   

Karys’ message to the world is simple.  “If people are excited, or they see something redeeming in [the music], I would really just want people to get in touch and let us know.  If anyone reads the interview and they’re compelled to check out the music and they like it then don’t hesitate to let us know because that’s what keeps us going.”

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