Peak Body – photo by Claire Jansen (w/ drawing by Alyssa Bermudez)
Peak Body are a duo from Hobart, Tasmania describing themselves as minimalist electronic post-punk and “Feeling” is one of many fine songs on the “Community 4” compilation of Hobart underground music recently released on Rough Skies Records.
Tasmania doesn’t feature much (or maybe even ever?) on PopLib despite regular posting of Australian underground pop. This compilation ought to rectify that omission – there’s a heap of treasure to be discovered here.
Peak Body is Emma Marson (vocals/guitar) and Jordan Marson (bass/keys/beats) and “Feelings” has all the fuzzy reverb-drenched pop charm you could ask for, equal parts melancholy & mystery and simple understated perfection.
Being conveniently ignorant about any aspect of the Hobart underground music scene I’ll just steal this brief explanation from the compilation Bandcamp page:
“…every song was written and recorded at the Hobart Underground Community Centre. The facility, true to its name, is located underground at a point in Glenorchy precisely between MONA and Mount Wellington (Hobart’s two great looming shadows) and was built for the sole purpose of allowing Hobart’s most vital musicians to hone their craft and reach their full potential, away from the distractions of their jobs, their families, and the daily violent fallout from Hobart City Council infighting. There is one set of doors leading into or out of the Community Centre tunnel, located behind a decoy trash pile at the Jackson Street Waste Management Centre, and they only open twice a year (at the June Solstice, and on the 29th of December, David Boon’s birthday).”
I get a feeling from the music and the further comments in the compilation info that Hobart may be a bit like Dunedin – out of the way, ignored by the rest of the country and the Australian music industry, a place musicians usually leave, whether to pursue their dreams/ ambitions or simply escape the small-city scene (the population is twice as big as Dunedin and about the same size as Christchurch).
Also the weather is similar because the Tasmania is on the whip-end of the Great Australian Bight’s intensification of the Roaring 40s. But on the plus side, they have strange mammals – not just Echidna and Platypus, but creatures I’d never heard of such as Quolls and Bettongs.