Peach Kelli Pop – Peach Kelli Pop

Can you fold two dimensions existing in disparate eras together to form a hybrid third? Is that even an agreed-upon hypothetical or is it unimaginable based on the rules of The Matrix? All I can remember of that movie is the gist, and I never saw its successors. I do remember Keanu Reeves though, and then Speed comes to mind – and then goofy Keanu Reeves memes. Wait a second, is that thought process a form of joining dimensions? Could the place where ’90s quirks meet quick-hitting Internet jokes and nostalgia spreads them around like a cyberspace plague be…a wormhole? Huh? I believe we’re lost in the matrix. But wherever we are, it’s the headspace best suited for Peach Kelli Pop.

The second LP from Allie Hanlon, the girly-girl behind the sugar-buzz fuzz, is a markedly more masterful presentation of the helium doo-wop heard on the first. The Ottawa expat, now living in Sacramento, still drums for the White Wires, the poppy punk outfit with which she got her start. But PKP, a project which is wholly hers, offers something far more idiosyncratic – packaged, even.

See, what Hanlon’s pushing is more than just a sound. It’s difficult to describe, but a pair of creepers emblazoned with Lisa Frank characters is a good start. Similarly exemplary is “Dreamphone,” the second tune on the album. It may not be named for the ’90s game for boy-crazy preteens, but it certainly recalls its playing cards with headshots of dreamy dudes who were way too old for the intended age group. The patient pop number is accented by chimes, rife with tambourine and topped off by Hanlon’s ultra-feminine, almost childlike tone. Not everybody’s going to dig it, but those who do will lovingly wear their records out.

It’s a little confusing that the two PKP full-lengths, each wholly written and recorded by Hanlon, are both self-titled. Additionally, both covers feature Hanlon by a body of water, smiling with a guitar. On the first, however, she’s wielding a little ukulele, and on the second, she’s holding a full-sized electric embellished with cutesy stickers. The sly smile on the first is now an ear-to-ear grin: She knows exactly what she’s doing this go ’round.

The same effervescent and adorable sound prevails on this latest LP, but there’s a newfound motif: the sonic equivalent of a rotating black-and-white spiral. It’s in the dizzying opening riff of “Scorpio,” as well as the alarm-like start and preceding fast-spun synth of “Society of Enoch.” (Side note: The latter reminds me of the intro to Barreracudas’ “7th Time Around,” a single released through Windian last summer.) PKP speeds up a little on this album, but otherwise it’s essentially a cleaned-up second installment of the same series.

That consistency makes the whole shebang feel more completely idiosyncratic. PKP makes sense for reasons much like why some people will forever love that that video of the little girl narrating a book of kitten pictures, no matter how many times they’ve seen it. The right frame of reference is crucial to its cute. Hanlon manages to channel the most lighthearted parts of childhood from a grown-up, modern and informed perspective. I’m starting to wonder if she’s a hologram.

Peach Kelli Pop
Peach Kelli Pop