Peel x Acid Star

 Los Angeles duo Peel release their debut album Acid Star. The creative partnership of Sean Cimino and Isom Innis, their bond was initially formed as touring members of Foster The People (now both official members live & on record). The two developed a musical language all their own over the years, ideas coalescing organically until the eventual birth of Peel. Inspired in part by genre-bending Creation Records bands like Primal Scream and Madchester groups like Happy Mondays, Acid Star expands on the industrial edge of early Peel, adding layers of psychedelia, electronica, and even reverb soaked freak folk.

“I look at Acid Star as a place where all of our expressions across different mediums were able to exist in the same orbit and create something new together,” shares Innis, “Lyrically I was trying to process digital mania, boredom, and joy in the present while sonically trying to make dance music through a band lens.” Cimino adds, “This album to me a tribute to the power of words and music that transcends boundaries from start to finish.”

The album is preceded by singles Y2J,” a psychedelic dance tune with dream pop elements, Acid Star,” a hallucinatory comedown of washed out acoustic guitars, “Climax,” which Paste Magazine praised as a “unique convergence of post-punk, electronica and psychedelia,” OMG” & “Cycle.”

For Acid Star, the duo began by tapping into the music that they liked as kids. That is, the music they gravitated toward before they had “any taste or judgment,” as Innis puts it. “If you think too hard, and you try too hard, you can kind of ruin the expression that comes out,” he adds. “But there’s something about trying to recreate a song that was in my DNA before taste came into it that just sounded, listening back, like it had a lot of energy and life.”

The opener, “Y2J,” was one of the results of that childhood-song experiment, and is, appropriately enough, named in reference to Y2K. “Climax,” a song inspired by the 2018 Gaspar Noé movie of the same name, is a rocket-ship ride of a tune, as much within Nile Rodgers’ wheelhouse as Spoon’s. 

Each side of the album is bookmarked by ghostly ballads—“Acid Star” and “The Cloak”—both driven by acoustic guitar and gentle vocals that push home the crucially melodic underbelly of Peel itself. “You’re smiling, laughing there, my acid star,” sings Cimino on the former song, an ode to an idea of a certain ephemeral and untouchable type of rock god. “That lyric is a tribute to the power of words beyond our everyday use,” Cimino says. “I was thinking of a term for someone, something, or an idea that is so meaningful—almost too important.” When it came time to decide what to name the album itself, it was right there in front of them.

 Check Paste Magazine for a band description of all tracks on the new album.