This past April, Allie Hanlon’s sunny LA garage rock project Peach Kelli Pop released the Halloween Mask 7″, three uptempo, shred-heavy songs that land squarely in power pop territory. Part of the Burger band’s appeal lies in the darkness and critical thought concealed just beneath their brighter melodies, and this time around there’s little concealment, not least in the title track. Hanlon noted that “Halloween Mask” has to do with the pressure on women to achieve “phantasmic, idealistic” beauty standards, which once achieved don’t tend to translate to deeper happiness or fulfillment.
The video, directed by Lizzy Walker, sees the five-piece playing with pure concentration in the hazy spotlight. Hanlon’s light, saccharine vocal harmonies are doubly forceful paired with her unforgiving gaze into the camera. “Behind this mask lies an ugly face / an entitled child dressed in lace,” she imparts all too calmly before a ripping solo cuts in over the scuzzy kick of the bass and drum. The line “Beneath my skin is gray” haunts the last minute as the band tear through the song and try on their own masks, and even Hanlon’s smile at the close is chilling.
Halloween Mask is out now on Lauren Records.