Peppermint Heaven make classic synthpop dance fare – not too much of a challenge lyrically, but this doesn’t matter – citing their influences as 80s pop powerhouses including The Pet Shop Boys and Psychedelic Furs (among others), their album, ‘Precious Things’ is dark indie pop at its finest.
With simple earworming choruses, and a “coffee percolator” backbeat reminiscent of Stock Aitken Waterman (Rick Astley, early Kylie and the like), it’s hard to believe ‘Precious Things’ isn’t by a UK 80s band. In fact Peppermint Heaven aren’t even from the UK at all. Duo Juno (Vocals and Keyboards) and Spark (Vocals, Bass and Drums) cut their teeth playing the Chicago indie club scene, before individually moving to LA where they met up. In 2011 the pair started creating their own brand of pop, taking their name from an obscure pre-Smiths Morrissey song. After finding a home at The Bedrock, in LAs Echo Park area, and several months of playing, writing, recording and mixing – honing their sound – Peppermint Heaven released ‘The Delicious EP’, in 2013.
Their new album, ‘Precious Things’, set for release on January 29, takes their 80s love affair even further. Album opener, ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ is very reminiscent of Visage, while ‘Decide 4 Yourself’ is pure electronica. Third song, ‘The Waiting Game’ has a backbeat that brings to mind ‘I’m Too Sexy’ by Right Said Fred – not a bad thing. For those of us who spent our teenage years in the 80s, Peppermint Heaven takes us on a weird sort of trip down memory lane.
My favourite track is the final one, ‘Talk To Me’ which sounds like a cross between Duran Duran and Roxy Music – particularly ‘Love Is The Drug’. It’s got a strident backbeat and great harmonies, with simple, hooky lyrics. “Excuse me for living well…excuuuuuuuse me for not going through hell”.
‘Precious Things’ is out on January 29. You can find Peppermint Heaven online on Twitter, Facebook and their website. Be sure to check out their previous releases on iTunes. Check out this fun lyric video for their song, ‘I’ll Be There For You’: