Tuesday, July 23, 2024

New Music Monday: Peanut Butter Telephone embraces ‘unhinged psychedelia’ on debut EP

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Victoria and Vancouver Island have a lot of musical talent, and Victoria Buzz wants to highlight some of the best and brightest local artists and bands.

Every Monday, there will be a fresh ‘New Music Monday’ article to help people find and support local artists and bands that are up-and-coming, well established or hidden gems!

For this endeavour, Victoria Buzz has partnered with our good friends at CFUV 101.9 FM, UVic’s campus radio station, to find and select the musicians and bands for this regular column.

This week, Peanut Butter Telephone is the New Music Monday highlight!

Peanut Butter Telephone is a five-piece, psych/alt-rock outfit from right here in Victoria who just released their debut EP, Man Made, on Friday, May 3rd. 

They told Victoria Buzz, after trying to sort out what their sound is, they landed on “unhinged psychedelia.” 

On this record, the band blends technical instrumentals with an energetic sound that is instantly contagious and leaves listeners wanting more. 

Bassist Will Jagger and keyboardist Christian Petersen grew up together in Vancouver and met the rest of their bandmates out of happenstance here in Victoria around 2021. 

Guitarist Kaedin Konowalchuck and drummer Liam Smith worked together landscaping before they decided to move in together, somewhat out of necessity, but they say it wound up being a good fit. 

Konowalchuck said one evening Smith burst into his room in the early evening and said he heard someone playing an accordion in the park outside their house. 

“He said, ‘we have to go jam with them,’” Konowalchuk laughed. 

“My experience with Liam so far is that he is a talker who likes to chat with some strange people… Funny enough the guy playing accordion was Christian, and Rowan was there too, so that’s how we met them.”

After realizing they lived closely to one another Jagger, Konowalchuk, Smith, Petersen and Rowan Bands, another guitarist in the band, decided to get together to jam and would eventually start playing shows around town as Peanut Butter Telephone soon after. 

During their writing and recording process, Peanut Butter Telephone say they were trying to find a niche in the Victoria music scene that they thought needed to be filled. 

Their songs are a mixture of instrumentals and lyrically driven, although they say that having lyrics in the songs is not always the priority if they think the track doesn’t need them. 

“A lot of times when we write a song, it’ll start from the instrumental and we’ll find that there isn’t much of a place for vocals without it feeling forced,” Jagger explained. 

When writing and recording their brand of “unhinged psychedelia,” they say that they were inspired by a wide range of different sounds and genres, depending on the band member which helped add to the unique quality of their music. 

Jagger says that he was listening to music that was a lot more relaxed than what they were writing and recording as Peanut Butter Telephone, whereas Konowalchuk told Victoria Buzz, at the risk of sounding sentimental, he was inspired by his fellow bandmates, their abilities and how everyone brought so much to the table with their band.

“At the time I was just feeling so lucky to be a part of this band,” Konowalchuck said. 

“I was feeling really grateful for the band and so I was putting in a lot of effort—I just wanted these songs to be as cool as they could be.”

When asked to highlight a song off of Man Made, both Konowalchuck and Jagger said that “Wake Up in the Sun” was an especially fun song to write and record and it holds a special place in their hearts because of a slight imperfection that instantly paints a picture in their minds of the recording process. 

“That one is our staple closer song at every live show, because the live energy is really there,” Konowalchuck explained. 

They said they recorded four or five takes of that song because they wanted everything to be live off the floor on their EP. 

On take four they said that Smith, their drummer, was beginning to get exhausted which led to a happy accident making it on the record. 

“It was just really funny because Liam broke one of his drumsticks in the middle of the song in one of his big solo parts,” Konowalchuck continued. 

“At the very end of it, my favourite part of the whole record, he does this one fill where he hits the snare and just goes ‘boom’ and that’s it. The rest of the song, the drums are crazy and it’s just this one fill—it’s so funny.”

Both Jagger and Konowalchuck said Smith is their favourite drummer to watch and listen to and although he played his heart out on the record, the juxtaposition of that drum fill compared to the rest of his playing always brings a smile to their faces. 

Preview Peanut Butter Telephone’s EP, Man Made here: 

Find Peanut Butter Telephone’s debut EP Man Made in full on Spotify and Apple Music.

Although they already had a release show and party for their EP, they say they will be playing some shows later on this summer and are considering the possibility of putting on a “re-release” show. 

They will be playing the Blackberry Jam Festival on Denman Island in August and then they will be going to Tofino. More details will be coming as they try to piece together more dates in order to have a small tour of Vancouver Island around that time as well. 

To follow along and know when and where Peanut Butter Telephone will be playing this summer, follow them on Instagram.


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CFUV is a non-profit campus and community radio station that plays a ton of local music of all kinds across Vancouver Island. If you like to support local music they are an amazing resource with a plethora of new local tunes in their arsenal. 

“I don’t want to list too many names, but Koko, Marco, Troy and Rowan of CFUV have been incredible to us,” said Jagger. 

“They’ve had us on their shows and it’s been great exposure and they’re just lovely radio hosts—I listen to them and I feel relaxed and happy.”

“I love what they’re doing,” Konowalchuk added. “Community radio is amazing, they’re playing so much cool stuff… Gotta support local and CFUV is about as local as it gets in Victoria.” 

Tune into CFUV 101.9 FM on air or online!

Let us know what you think of Peanut Butter Telephone in the comments below.

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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