The guys in Peach Pit are fucking weird

But I mean that lovingly. They are the kind of weird that attracts rather than repels. Stuff like constantly wearing the same clothes, dancing alone in public or calling fans "daddy" is just but a taste of what these Vancouver boys have done to endear themselves to the masses.

And "the masses" is no over-exaggeration for a band that has just released its first LP. Peach Pit has managed to find an adoring online niche that hangs on their every note, their every video, their every joke. But it certainly doesn’t hurt that they are a) incredibly friendly and affable, and b) make really damn good music.

Peach Pit’s debut LP, Being So Normal, was released earlier this month after months of anticipation. Tracks from the group’s 2016 EP Sweet F.A. had set a high bar, accumulating millions of listens and a devoted online following thanks to impeccably crafted songs like 'Seventeen' and 'Sweet F.A.'

The group's self-described "chewed bubblegum pop" carries with it a laid back charisma. Themes of adolescence, embarrassment and regret accompany jaunty melodies and a pastel color palette. All of it added up to a mountain of hype ahead of their first full-length.

Fortunately, Being So Normal is a clear continuation of that success, with gems like 'Drop The Guillotine' and 'Alrighty Aphrodite' making the record one of the year's strongest releases and Peach Pit one of the hottest bands on the planet.

And now Peach Pit has really reached the point of no return: they are quitting their jobs.

Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Neil Smith and bassist Peter Wilton quit their jobs as Amazon delivery drivers, and guitarist Christopher Vanderkooy will be stepping away from his position with a local Vancouver brewery this week. Drummer Mikey Pascuzzi works as a carpenter, but he’ll be taking some time off as the band begins a lengthy North American tour this weekend, soon to be followed by a trip through Europe.

While there is always risk associated with diving headfirst into a musical career, things could not be looking any better for the jangly four-piece.

Like a slice of portable sunshine, Peach Pit has the kind of timeless sound that you’d be hard pressed to imagine people passing on. Jingly guitars, relaxed melodies and a little bit of a groove can go a long way, and Peach Pit is the proof.

Still, the boys of Peach Pit are a savvy bunch and know the risks. "I moved back in with my parents so I can afford a little bit more freedom,” says the ever-charming Smith with a laugh. “Maybe at Christmas I’ll be calling Amazon back."

But based on the reception of their music, it's hard to believe these guys will be turning back. For Smith, cultivating such a following was always a goal but never an expectation.

"A lot of bands have the mindset where they really believe in the songs and feel that if they put on a good enough live show, they might be able to do something with it," he explains. "So we always believed in ourselves, but we didn’t think it would happen super fast like it did.

"It has been very exciting but it’s also been a bit overwhelming and hard to get used to," Smith adds. "But it feels really good. This is what you want, this is the goal."

The ascension to popularity has been a steep and swift ride for Peach Pit. The group released Sweet F.A. back in May 2016. Then, this February, a song from that record found its way onto a YouTube playlist crafted by a woman who goes by 'TheLazylazyme.' The song has since accumulated more than 2 million listens.

"She put our song up and it got so many views and pretty quickly," says Smith with palpable amazement in his voice. "When that started happening, we had a lot of people tweeting at us and messaging us. Then our Vancouver shows went from pretty decent to us selling out venues pretty quickly."

By that time, the band was already hard at work on a full-length record, working on the album in small chunks over a period of several months. Being So Normal was the final outcome, a cohesive and compelling nine-track collection. One listen reveals a unique sound that blurs the lines between innumerable influences and genres.

Smith made his first breakthroughs in music as a member of the folk project Dogwood And Dhalia, and he cites a variety of folk influences including Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf. Smith believes the varied musical tastes within Peach Pit have allowed them to arrive at a unique sound.

"Chris and Pete grew up listening to Modest Mouse and The Strokes, and Mike was listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers and lots of classic rock," says Smith. "But then I grew up listening to lots of folk music and I’m usually writing our songs on an acoustic guitar. So they usually start as a folkier song and then I bring it to the guys and it transforms a little bit."

According to Smith, collaboration has been crucial for Peach Pit’s success. This key ingredient extends beyond the studio, however. The band has exploded thanks in large part to its work with Lester Lyons-Hookham, the photographer and videographer responsible for the group’s eye-catching visuals.

Lyons-Hookham is a Vancouver transplant, coming to Canada from the UK to be with his girlfriend. Smith met him three years ago, shortly after the move.

"We were working together at an outdoor lifestyle store in Vancouver as night stock, stocking shelves in the middle of the night," Smith says. "We became super good friends right away."

Lyons-Hookham showed Smith some of his art school projects and the two quickly became creative partners.

"He is incredibly talented," Smith gushes with obvious appreciation. "Any of the videos we have out, the concepts were all him. He has been the biggest help ever."

Peach Pit has also drawn a bit of notoriety for the fact that all the members only wear one set of clothing, both in the group’s videos and on-stage. This habit is to the point that YouTube commentators refer to Smith as "Khaki Man" due to his trousers. According to Smith, these distinctive get-ups are also thanks to Lyons-Hookham.

"We were taking band photos like a year-and-a-half ago, and Lester wanted to put us in some nice outfits so he went to Value Village, which is like a chain thrift store," Smith explains. "He picked a bunch of things off the rack, we tried them on and then the ones we were wearing stuck.

"We were just going to wear those for that one photo shoot," he continues. "We were going for what your mom would dress you in if you were going to someone’s sixth birthday party, like little gentlemen. But then we wore them for our EP release show and decided to wear them for every single show."

The decision to stick to a uniform of sorts has helped propel the group's distinct visual flair. Maintaining the clothes, on the other hand, is a much more precarious matter.

"I’m on my third pair of the pants. I found the right kind at Old Navy,” he laughs. "The other stuff, the tops, those are the OGs, but they are very smelly. So we might have to try and figure out some way of getting duplicates because third show into a tour and you end up smelling like dog poo."

But even if the band ends up smelling a little foul after a few shows, it has not stopped legions of devoted fans from trekking out to shows or sharing their enthusiasm online. Peach Pit, who maintain an active and responsive online presence, lovingly call their fans "daddies."

"It’s really creepy, right?" laughs Smith. "We’ve gotten to the point where I’m like, 'Oh no, this is a thing now! Why did we do that?'"

The uncomfortable but humorous fan nickname extends from an embarrassing night in Vancouver for drummer Mikey Pascuzzi.

"It was Mikey’s birthday and we were playing a show," explains Smith. "Mike got super drunk and he was on the dance floor with a nice, pretty girl. We saw it and thought it was nice that Mike was dancing with this pretty girl. But then like 15 minutes later, he came back over to us and we were like, 'Mike, what are you doing? Where’s that girl? You were talking to her for awhile.' And he said, 'Well, she came up to me and said her name was Jessica and asked for my name and I said it was Daddy.' She apparently backed out after that one. But then Mike pulled the same line on his now-girlfriend and it worked great.

"He’s probably going to get mad at me for telling you that story," chuckles Smith.

But the unflinching willingness to share personal stories is part of what Smith attributes to the band’s success. On nearly every video, Smith has shared the song’s lyrics and an explanation of how he wrote the song and what it means.

"Honestly, I just think it’s more interesting," he explains. "If you know the backstory and know that it's totally true, that’s just interesting. Sometimes it's even a little embarrassing for me, talking about embarrassing high school stories or secret pent up emotions of rage against your best friend. But it isn’t boring! Might as well be honest and tell the honest story."

Honesty and sincerity are at the core of Peach Pit. Without them, this little group wouldn’t have felt the courage to be so openly weird and, in turn, wouldn’t have created an album as rich as Being So Normal. And without that honesty and sincerity, they wouldn’t have been able to connect with so many so quickly.

These intangible qualities are hard to pin down, but you know it when you hear it. Peach Pit is nothing but themselves and that’s hard to find these days. Even rarer is the band that makes you feel okay being yourself, and that’s exactly what Peach Pit has accomplished.

Being So Normal is out now through Kingfisher Bluez. Check out the band's upcoming tour dates and order the record here.