REVIEW: Music collective Peach Tree Rascals releases debut EP ‘Camp Nowhere’

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Everyone who knows me knows I hate camping, but Peach Tree Rascals’ debut EP “Camp Nowhere” has me ready to pitch a tent and take on the world.

Peach Tree Rascals, a music collective out of San José, California, consists of vocalists Isaac Pech, Tarrek Abdel-Khaliq and Joseph Barros, along with producer/mixer Dominic Pizano and creative director Jorge Olazaba.

The five friends — many of them children of immigrants — formed the group in high school as a hodgepodge of creative ideas, musical talent and mellow personalities. This evidently influences their music, which radiates the warmth of their sunny home state.

They are best known for their hit song “Mariposa,” which blew up on TikTok during last summer. With vaccines rolling out and summer 2021 just around the corner, Peach Tree Rascals have the perfect setlist for the season.

Birthed in social isolation and recorded in a remote location near Yosemite National Park, the 8-track EP “Camp Nowhere” gives off more of a small beach party vibe than the seclusion that created it.

The genre-fluid record drifts between upbeat anthems, indie-pop melodies and acoustic love songs. At just over 20 minutes long, the record is very well-rounded artistically.

The first three tracks on the EP — “OOZ,” “LEAVE ME” and “JoJo” — all ooze the warmth and excitement that comes with summer, while still maintaining a free and relaxing atmosphere. Though they radiate the same feelings, each song seems unique in its own way.

The fourth track, “Change My Mind,” feels gospel-inspired, both musically and lyrically. The lyrics in the piano-heavy chorus go “I know it’s right, I’m rolling light / I’m gon’ live my life / And ain’t nobody gon’ change my mind.” It feels inspiring, especially when the verses start and the drum beats take over.

“Doing Fine” opens with piano, smooth vocal runs and a clean bassline before jumping into an R&B style that flows throughout the rest of the song. The production and relaxed vocals have you swaying along to the beat.

The last three songs on the EP take a more acoustic route. While the production level of “papá” is still high, the airy background vocals and acoustic finger-picking create a more intimate sound than earlier songs on the record.

“Pockets” seems to step away from intricate beats and instrumentals, fully embracing acoustic simplicity. The song opens with just vocals and guitar, layering on more elements as it progresses.

“Oh Honey! (I Love You)” sounds like someone playing you a personal love song — that is until the clouds break after the first chorus and the musical angels descend upon you. This type of song makes you feel like you’re in love even if you’ve been single for five years … hypothetically, of course.

Peach Tree Rascals is still a young group in the music industry, but their energy is hypnotic. These guys definitely know what they’re doing, and they aren’t in any rush to become superstars. However, if they keep releasing projects like “Camp Nowhere,” they’re going to end up somewhere big.

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My name is Jared Shuff, and I am a former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I worked as the arts & culture editor and as a contributing writer for the news desk. I am a senior in secondary education with an emphasis in English/journalism. I grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas, and attended Hutchinson Community College before transferring to K-State in 2020.