A day in the life of Peach Tree Rascals, misfit collective turned 2021 break-outs
Fresh from releasing their debut EP Camp Nowhere, the Californian group now take us behind-the-scenes of a Peach Tree Rascals day.
One of our favourite breakthroughs of last year was Californian collective Peach Tree Rascals, and there's a good reason for that. The San Jose-raised five-piece have consistently delivered genre-varying slices of gold, with each single they've released since their 2018 debut Glide seemingly topping the last, to the point where the material they're releasing now - music we'll talk about more in just a second - are testaments to their continued evolution and growth, both musically and personally. Then, there's the fact that almost everything they do is done by themselves; the five-piece including a producer and mixer (Dom) and a creative director (Jorge) that ensures everything has the Peach Tree Rascals charm at its most natural and potent.
There's something incredibly exciting about Peach Tree Rascals' trajectory and the DIY spirit that fuels it, especially as the rest of the world cottons on. For example, when their 2019 single Mariposa went viral a year later, they quickly engineered an acoustic version that breathed a new sense of life into song - teasing a side to the group that would be fleshed out at points to come. There's also how their work always incorporates unexplored sub-genres and musical energies that - because they keep everything in-house - is often revisited for flourishes later down the line, or in the vision that shows itself through their connecting cover arts, videos and other visual assets - all it comes together.
The other week saw the release of Peach Tree Rascals' debut EP Camp Nowhere, which for the first time, showcases the Peach Tree Rascals vision in a format where there's room for it to be all laid out - and what a moment it is. It's a versatile collection of eight songs that seem to pluck away at the many sounds Peach Tree Rascals have worked amongst in the past and intertwine it with a backing in jazzy R&B and hip-hop; touches of pop, electronica, indie, hip-hop, soul and beyond dancing amongst the members' respective influences, and how Peach Tree Rascals brings it all together.
"Camp Nowhere came from the idea that a lot of people have been using the isolation of quarantine and the state of the world to dig deeper into themselves and figure out what’s important to them," says the group's Tarrek Abdel-Khaliq. "For some, it’s discovering a new hobby, or that it’s time to move on to a new place. For Peach Tree Rascals, it was taking a week in Yosemite to dive into our creativity." Camp Nowhere is rooted in the personal and musical connection the members have with one another, something which is crucial in the ongoing stories and visions that Peach Tree Rascals communicate through their work - something that their Yosemite trip no doubt strengthened.
Now, to get another look, we're getting a behind-the-scenes look into a Peach Tree Rascals day, in an exclusive video and interview taking us into the Peach Tree Rascals home. Watch the video below, introduce yourself to the group underneath, and take a listen to Camp Nowhere right at the bottom.
Hey guys! Hope everything is going well over there and congratulations on the release of Camp Nowhere, it’s been a long time coming and it’s great to finally see you guys at this point. This has been your debut release, and obviously doing your first longer release can come with a lot of lessons and learnings; there’s a lot that goes into an EP that you guys might’ve not done before. How did you guys find the experience?
I believe everyone found this project to be a great learning experience. It was definitely a challenge because it was the first time we had to create a group of songs that would sonically mesh well together and balance each other out. The energy in watching us as a collective lock in and elevate ourselves was definitely one of the greatest moments I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. I think each person had something to prove going into this, and I believe we all delivered. The experience of creating this project will always be something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. - Joseph
How does it feel to now be on the other side of that, with the EP - and that whole experience - now behind you?
As the great Aubrey Drake Graham once said... “Let’s see what’s ‘bout to happen next, ok?” In all seriousness, this is exactly what's going on in my head as I answer this. One thing I have learned through years of studying the music industry and being a part of it the last couple years is that nothing is promised. Determination would be an understatement on what I feel on a day to day basis.
As far as Camp Nowhere goes, I believe it will stand the test of time and we’re barely getting our feet wet in the world of music. Next mission is to improve as individual people and as a collective so that everything from here on out is an evolution of our current selves. We put everything we possibly could into the music for Camp Nowhere and at this point the only thing on my mind is making sure our next release is better than the last one. - Isaac.
What did you guys learn - either musically, or about yourselves - putting together Camp Nowhere?
I think we’ve learned to be more conscious in how we approach each song we’re making. Whether it would be sonically, lyrically, or even just the feeling. I’ve also learned to not be too afraid to put my life in the lines because after all is said and done, the weight that I’ve had on my shoulders becomes a lot more lighter knowing that our lyrics might make someone else listening feel as if they are not alone. - Joseph
Can you tell us a bit about the EP, and the themes that are central to it?
The EP takes all of the chaos and happiness and depression that we’ve endured since entering the music scene and puts it in musical form. As I listen to it, it takes me back to those high and low points and helps me push forward. You put the lives of 5 brothers, blend it up and hear the result through the project. Camp Nowhere was made during a cabin getaway and acted as a highly needed therapeutic outlet for me personally. I think family, peace, chaos, beauty and the factor of being timeless are the main pillars in the creation of our child, Camp Nowhere. - Isaac.
You guys mention that a lot of the EP is rooted in a sense of change, that’s come through reflection amongst lockdowns and quarantine. Are there any ways you guys feel like you’ve changed over the last year? How so?
Since the pandemic hit, a lot has changed within myself and the rest of the guys. Not in our personalities but in our mentalities. It showed us how fragile life can be and how unexpected things can turn. We gained the perspective of enjoying the little things while we have them, and appreciating them when it would be easy to take them for granted. It also put us in a position of learning to accept the curve balls that life throws at us. It’s easy to get down and depressed when something happens that you weren’t ready for, and it’s hard to accept these things as they come and be ok with whatever happens.
That’s the biggest change I’ve made and continue to practice learning. The art of acceptance, the art of not letting things hold too much weight over my life and my mental health no matter how bad it is. - Tarrek.
When we first introduced you guys, you mentioned that a big ethos of Peach Tree Rascals makes people feel happy and hopeful. Is that still a major ethos to the group? How do you guys feel like you show that amongst the EP?
I think creating the feeling of hope is something that comes with being a part of the Peach Tree Rascals. Whether you are a member, a fan, or a casual listener it’s part of the package. We are human and we all go through things that bring us down, but music is the thing that lets us take those moments and shine a light on them in a way that gives us hope.
I feel like we showed that with this EP because it’s a project that acts as a portal into a world of freedom and space, a world of love and light, an escape from anything and everything you need to get away from. That’s the energy it gave us while creating it and it’s the energy it projects to anyone who gives it a listen. - Tarrek.
Musically, Peach Tree Rascals has always been at the cusp of this kind-of genre-less blend of sounds. That’s something that’s become quite popular in the last 12 months; do you feel like that has made any impact on your own sound?
We don’t think so- this is something we’ve been doing since the beginning. It’s pretty much all we know. All of us are inspired by so many different great artists from around the world, and our biggest goal with our music is to make people feel the way we feel listening to those artists. - Dom.
How do you see the Peach Tree Rascals ‘sound’ changing with what you do next?
The Peach Tree sound isn’t really going to change drastically, but instead evolve through the years by us becoming better musicians, and by incorporating more instruments such as strings, horns, harp, etc. - Dom.
I see more rap in our future. - Isaac.
Speaking of, a debut EP is a bit checkbox-tick for a lot of artists early on in their career. What are you guys hoping to do from here?
We are hoping to do what we’ve planned to do from the start of our journey, which is to continue putting out the best music we can make, the best visuals we can make, the best merch we can make, and connect with the best fans in the world. We want to take the Peach Tree Rascals to the moon and further. We want to build our fan base to the point where, when it’s time for our debut album, it has a chance to sit at the charts. We want to go all around the world and perform for everyone who has ever listened and supported us through the years. We want to be the greatest we can be and go as far as we can go! - Tarrek.
We want Peach Tree to keep growing and expanding continuously like a giant hug across the earth. We want to keep working and keep our heads down to make sure we are as successful as possible, with more music, collabs and visuals and awesomeness across the board. We will be unstoppable and undeniable as greats. - Jorge.