I met Ike Peters more a year ago on Turntable.fm. He seemed like a pretty cool cat; we'd occasionally chat and he'd always play great tunez up on the virtual DJ booth. From what I know of Ike (and we are BIFFS...bestie internet friends forever), he is pretty modest; this is why I didn't initially know that he wrote songs. I don't remember how I learned about his band, The Coasts, but I do remember being blown away when I first heard their self-titled album.
My surprise was a result of many things. The album was not only outstanding, but the story behind it's creation was also great. Ike, an Arkansas resident, started The Coasts
with his friend Eric Mount a school teacher from Ohio. They collaborated via the inter-webs and recorded the entire album in a weekend with no backing or funding. The Coasts
threw their album up on bandcamp and donated a portion of the proceeds to the charity Hope for Haiti's Children. This is how these guy roll; they put out excellent music, send great karma into the universe and don't expect anything in return. However, lately it seems The Coasts'
good karma is catching up with them. They are slowly developing a good following of fans and they just won an on-line poll to perform at Adrien Grenier's studio The Wreckroom
in September. Their studio performances will be filmed and put on the internet. We'll be sure to feature a video or two.
We have written about The Coasts quite a bit in the last year, but I want to be clear: my respect for Ike as a person has not biased my opinion of the music. It's easy to get wrapped up in that type of shit and I'm careful not to diminish my credibility as a writer (or what the Fuck you want to call me). I'm not going to share music via Syffal that I can't stand behind; no matter how good of a person is behind the creation. If Jesus made a shitty album that he wanted me to share on the site, I'd tell him to Fuck off.
With that said, Ike is an incredible song-writer and he continues to demonstrate this talent.
This leads me to the new EP put out by The Rough Drafts
called Valley Forge
. The Rough Drafts
are a side project of Ike's that he started with his sister Katie Mitchell. The EP is a short 3 songs, but they are oh-so-good. And in true Good-Guy Peters' fashion all of the proceeds for this album go to his sister in law's family to assist with the cost of their adoption process
The entire album has a breezy and innocent feel that only a bother/sister collaboration can pull off. Ike displays his gritty voice on the first two tracks but the mood is softened by the fun and inviting melodies. Although this mood is consistent throughout, each track definitely has it's own personality. Oh My Love is about the longing to be reunited with a loved one. The great guitar line is accompanied by some wacky horns that you'd expect to hear while walking down the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the 1930's. In The Morning is probably my favorite song on the EP and has an 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou' vibe to it. It gives me the mental imagine of Ike playing a Banjo on a log outside his Arkansas home with a hayseed's straw hanging out of his mouth. It's perfectly bluegrass-a-licious.
BUT the talent in the Peter's family is not limited to only Ike. Katie's pretty harmonies are all over Valley Forge, but it's the sweet and some-what recognizeable vocals on the third track Home made me start to well up. Immediately after hearing this song I e-mailed Ike to make sure that his sister was not the singer in Cults (she's not, but I don't believe him). Katie repeatedly croons 'my only home is here with you.' Sometimes it's the simplicity of love songs that allow the listener draw a strong connection to them. Home will grasp on to your emotions and you will not want the album to end. Unfortunately, the EP wraps up in just under 9 minutes and you are left buried in a pile of wadded up tissues.
I demand more songs from The Rough Drafts!!! Help me create the demand and go buy this album and share the link with your friends; name your price on bandcamp and remember all of those proceeds go to help a family trying to extend theirs.