Arts

Local group set to release new album in two parts

Photo courtesy of the PepTides

In love, out of love — everyone has an opinion on love.

Local group The PepTides will release Love Question Mark on May 6, with the official release party at St. Alban’s Church on May 3 at 8 p.m.

Students who saw them play at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa’s (SFUO) Fall Festival on Sept. 13 will have already heard some of Love Question Mark, as well as previously released material from For Those Who Hate Human Interaction and Revenge of the Vinyl Café.

The new album is an examination of modern love and sex. Conventional top 40 pop music has an obsession with either being in love or failing at love, with little variance: Rihanna’s “S&M” is about as alternative and controversial as one can expect on the radio. The PepTides’ new album brings a wider range of perspectives.

Love Question Mark’s two parts, Electro Love and Retro Love, both live up to their names, with an electro-pop and retro feel respectively. They present a theatrical and at times cartoonish sounding pop album that almost masks the critique going on beneath the surface.

“We’re putting all of these oddly contrasting, hypocritical things together into a melting pot,” said group member DeeDee Butters in an interview with the Fulcrum last fall. “It’s taking human behaviour to the limit and making a great absurdist play out of it so you see how inherently flawed we are, and how at the same time, there are some really beautiful moments about love and some beautiful sad moments about loss.”

Electro Love examines the manufactured and commodified version of love that pop culture offers up, then takes the listener deeper into aspects of desire that aren’t often acknowledged in the mainstream, singing about prostitution, polyamory, and gender roles.

Retro Love moves away from the frenetic electronic beats of the first part of Love Question Mark, inviting nostalgia into the mix instead. This album deconstructs the glorification and supposed celebration of love usually found in pop culture. The PepTides tackle love through philosophy, science, religion, and medicine, challenging each one’s attempts to define and categorize the experience.

The album is a fun and perky listen, with real depth and darkness in its lyrics. By taking on our cultural assumptions, it challenges some of the biggest myths we have — we may not all believe in God, but we’re all supposed to believe in love. This album questions what that means without forcing any answers on the listener.

A selection of songs from the new album are currently available on YouTube or on their website.