ill peach Thrive On Collaboration
Collaboration and Creation. These are just two of the things that are important to ill peach. The art rock duo of Pat Morrissey and Jess Corazza first planted the seeds of their “weirdo pop” band while working as professional songwriters in New York. The pair were collaborating on songs for such artists as SZA, Weezer, Pharrell and many others when they were offered a publishing deal. In many aspects and for many artists this would’ve been a huge opportunity but for these two singular songwriters, who were continually told their music was too left of centre and weird, it gave them the leeway to create their own band and ill peach was born.
Their debut full length album THIS IS NOT AN EXIT is out now everywhere via Hardly Art and it’s a testament to Morrissey and Corazza’s unique point of view on modern pop songwriting. The album is bright, poppy, gritty and full of the duo’s experimental tendencies but without sacrificing some utterly hook filled choruses. It’s been a journey for these two talents and when we reach them from the studio they are working at in Los Angeles, they detail the steps it’s taken them to get here and the unwavering way in which they collaborate and create.
“We had moved to New York and were just songwriters and producers for other people’s projects,” explains Morrissey of the band’s origins. “We started to get feedback asking if we’ve thought about working on our own music because it’s not really working here,” he says with a laugh. “So we started our thing as a way of making something more meaningful for us because I think we had been putting a little too much of ourselves into these other artist’s projects.” Corazza goes on to say, “ill peach became really cathartic for me because I was starting to get jaded by the industry here. It started to feel like swimming in a giant ocean of saturation and competition and it was increasingly hard to connect with the right community that would help push you forward and I took a hiatus from writing for other people so I could figure out what my creative identity is. It didn’t seem to affect Pat the same way it had with me and I feel like going through this and finally feeling like I was communicating was where ill peach was born and for the both of us it became a thing where we felt like we could breathe a sigh of relief because we were finally creating and expressing in a way that we wanted to.” This new confidence that came with Corazza and Morrissey’s ability to separate themselves from their collaboration has also brought with it a descriptor of their music, that either don’t necessarily relate to, which is “weird”. “I wouldn’t call this album “weird”,” says Morrissey and Corazza follows up, “Perhaps people are trying to use the term “weird” synonymously with unique, I don’t know,” she says with a chuckle. “I definitely like that word more even though we are weirdos, right?”
Things really started to come together creatively for the band when they relocated to Los Angeles and during the pandemic lockdowns. Corazza aptly described that as a time when, “The veil of the music industry fell down, there was no facade and everything was too real”. “It was the breaking point and almost like the silence from everyone,” she explains. “When I say it dropped its veil, it dropped its veil of bullshit. When we first moved to LA I felt like I got placed back in high school where you have to navigate these new relationships with people in the industry and then all of a sudden, it was like none of that mattered so I felt like I could finally focus on who I was as a writer because everyone else just quietly went away for awhile.” “This album was born out of that huge shift,” Morrissey elaborates, “When you take away all the external factors and those don’t exist anymore what you have to focus on is what is coming from you, from within and that is the sincerest way to create. There was no other noise. Plus, we were just trying to figure things out as we went along and that’s everything from the songwriting and lyrics to sonically how the album is sounding. It was a stream of consciousness approach, we were feeling it all out.” Even through all the genre hopping and different production choices that are featured on THIS IS NOT AN EXIT, the album always sounds like ill peach. “We kind of got fucked up in our heads worrying about that while we were recording,” says Corazza. “Are we jumping around too much? But that’s just how we are in our heads and we even brought in our oldest childhood friend to sit and listen to it all and he just tried to calm us down and was like ‘this is all good you guys’,” she says laughing.
It was through this time period that ill peach say they went through a huge amount of growth as artists and people. It “We had our own special little space to work through what was happening and honestly, it felt like therapy,” says Corazza. “These songs were a response to what was going on with the world and wondering how we fit in with everything that is happening and it was a really healing experience and the record kind of became this healing journey,” says Morrissey to which Corazza jokes, “I think we were really intense when we made this.” Intensity aside ill peach is poised to turn a lot of heads with THIS IS NOT AN EXIT and in listening to the album, it’s not any different from having the opportunity to sit and chat with them. It is a showcase for two intensely creative people that are working at a high level, wanting to connect with a community and, maybe more importantly, to find a way to connect with themselves.
order this is not an exit by ill peach HERE
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