Allie Hanlon, aka Peach Kelli Pop, usually keeps her songs light and fluffy. But with the release of her most recent EP Which Witch Hanlon exposes herself like never before.
“It’s definitely more vulnerable than anything I’ve ever put out,” Hanlon tells BTRtoday. “The songs are often about things that I’m personally experiencing or did experience and that is a first for me.”
The west-coaster by way of Ottawa, Canada wrote the E.P. during the winter holidays in her childhood home. She says it was a new experience writing and recording back in a place where she felt most comfortable and learned how to play music.
Still short and sweet, the tracks explore desperation and loneliness in doo-wop-inspired melodies that disguise the melancholy. They’re songs you want to dance and jump around to but stay in your head a long time. For example, the lyrics of “Los Angeles” revolve around feelings of isolation and defeat, but with its fast guitar riffs and fun oohs and ahs, you’d never know it was actually kind of a bummer.
“When I moved to L.A. I was really excited about all of the opportunities, but it kind of dawned on me that I was a little bit isolated and I didn’t have a support system,” Hanlon says about the track. “Basically, I realized that there are so many opportunities here, but I wasn’t able to take advantage of the abundance of opportunities without the friends and the family that I had back home.”
The music video for “Los Angeles” portrays a different kind of story.
Peach Kelli Pop “Los Angeles”
A collaboration with the comedy group Power Violence , the music video portrays a relationship on its last leg. Unable to face his clearly disappointed girlfriend, a boy says he needs to “work out.” But instead of exercising, he dances in his garage to the Peach Kelli Pop tune. As he dances, he dreams he’s performing to an adoring crowd, including his girlfriend.
“I’d say the song and the video are two different things,” Hanlon says. “I was worried that people might be like, ‘this is too weird,” but I think people appreciate the humor—it makes sense on an emotional level more than a logical level.”
“Crooked & Crazy” is another tune on Which Witch that’ll get stuck in your head and have you happily humming along while skipping down the street that’s also paired with a fun and colorful music video. You’ll sing along with a big smile plastered on your face until the meaning of the lyrics stops you in your tracks. “I’m so alone so a scavenge and roam, I’m so alone I don’t wanna stay home/ trying to find my way and how I can downplay that I’m depressed in the depth of my loneliness.”
“The first record [Peach Kelli Pop I] was when I was learning to write music and compose a song with all the elements of drums and bass and guitar—I was kind of doing it just me figuring it out,” Hanlon says about the evolution of her sound. “From when I started that until now I’ve definitely come a long way and feeling more comfortable and growing with those skills.”
Hanlon plans on hitting the road as Peach Kelli Pop for all of June covering most major cities in the U.S. and Canada. Catch her in a town near you and tune in to this week’s The Music Meetup to hear the entire interview with Hanlon plus all of Which Witch and two new tracks from her upcoming LP Gentle Leader out May 25.