Future Peasants is the duo of Vancouver musician/songwriters Kevin Guest and Lee Nicholson. Their debut full-length album, ‘Glittering in the Dark’, presents a fresh blend of baroque pop, indie folk and electronica. I got them to answer a few of my questions while they were imbibing a few gin and tonics.
Who are Future Peasants?
We are two people who met under a gazebo on a rainy day. We got to talking about music and realized we had a decent overlap in bands we liked and both had a history of songwriting so we decided to make a go of collaborating. The band’s name comes from the description of the visual artwork one of us does. It conjures up hopeless beauty in a realm of quaint dystopia.
How did the band start?
We ended up living across the street from each other in Vancouver to make the project more feasible. We brought our previously unshared experiences to the table and went from there. We began to compose together, though one of us tends to take on the lyrics and melody while the other handles the instrumentation and production.
What have you put out so far?
Over a couple of years we managed to put together a few dozen tracks ranging from raw and moody to borderline techno. We decided it was time to form an album rather than amassing tracks to keep to ourselves, and the result is our debut album, ‘Glittering in the Dark’. We have never performed live.
What’s the future direction for you guys?
We have been pleased with the response, as we had no realistic expectations. Our friends tell us they like it and we have made a handful of college radio charts, so we intend to release another album. One of us recently moved to Victoria so the method of production is different. We have had a good deal of life drama to weather, so that should provide plenty of fodder for songs.
What is ‘Glittering in the Dark’ about? Is there a theme?
The title reflects the mood in which many of the songs were composed, an impossible scenario of eliciting beauty and energy in isolation without light. A lot of sadness and frustration with life is expressed through observation, self-pity, humour, and inklings of hope. We complement the lyrics and melodies with an array of sounds and samples.
Tell us about a few of the songs.
“Waiting for the Sunshine”:
This was our first true collaboration, which grew from casual strumming while working on another track. It is about the relationship with a mentor, and how in Vancouver a lot of time is spent enjoying and enduring the rain. It began as spoken word with a soundtrack and evolved into a warm and pleasant homage.
This is about memories triggered from scents. It was a breakthrough for us in finding our sound. It began as a simple quasi-folk song and became rich and almost eerie through the instrumentation.
This track is heavy on self-examination and survival. It is about overcoming the disappointments of facing one’s reality and aiming for growth and worth. Musically, the track incorporates our penchant for gloom coupled with accessible melodies in an expanding sound.
What would you like listeners to take away from your music?
There are a lot of influences from a range of artists to be gleaned. There is equal importance given to the mundane, the morose, and the magical elements of life. We aim to have listeners enjoy the music, finding noise gems throughout, while connecting to us via the lyrical experiences.