Soft People have that whole California feel about them, which isn’t surprising when you discover that they’re based in San Luis Obispo, close to the midpoint between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The duo comprises married couple Caleb Nichols and John Metz, who met when Nichols, a long term member of the Oakland California music scene, hired John as his drummer, for his band, Grand Lake. The pair started dating shortly after, and that, as they say in the classics, was that.
Soft People is their first singer/songwriting collab as a couple, and they released their debut, ‘American Men’, in 2017. ‘The Absolute Boy’, released ealier this week, is a hardhitting track with trance elements; it’s guitar led with a synthy undercurrent. Written by Nichols, it’s deeply personal, addressing his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, the result of abuse in his early childhood. “Before you hit me/before you clipped my wings/I was the absolute boy/I was him completely” are sobering lines, even more so when you see he’s dedicated it to his father, and his father, and his father before that – systematic abuse that’s been passed down through the generations.
The track’s tempo takes us back to the 80s, and reminds us a bit of Peppermint Heaven, another contemporary band whose synth-based tracks have that 80s feel about them. The pair have started playing in the local independent music scene, and have started Sandwich Kingdom, a tape label, which will see them release annual compilations of local DIY artists and poets.