Thank you for stopping by to take a sneak peek at my brand new project, "Pepperkid2"
Now Boarding For "Pepperland"!
FM’s Keyboard Wiz Jem Davis Announces his Superb, Genrefluid, Musically Diverse Solo Album & Its First Single
There’s a new kid in town: ‘Pepperkid2’ — the bright, new brainchild of FM’s creative keyboardist Jem Davis. ‘Pepperkid2’ is the guise Jem has adopted for his solo album project: an album entitled ‘Adventures in Pepperland’, which is due for release very soon.
The first single from the album, ‘After the Rain’ gives a first taste of the high quality, but very varied, tracks its parent contains.
Jem designed this album to be what he calls, “genre-fluid”. It certainly escapes pigeonholing and offers listeners a rich, varied, joyful experience: a Peppery smorgasbord of treats, you might say.
“In the Summer of 2020, during Lockdown,” Jem reflects, “I moved to a cottage near Lutterworth that came with amazing ready-built studio. Naming it ‘Electric Pepperland’, I immersed myself into my music, writing whatever inspired me."
“It soon became clear that there were many songs that didn’t fit the FM vibe and I needed to get them out there somehow, so under the guise of a project I called ‘Pepperkid2’ I set to work!"
“Not being gifted in the vocal department, I asked my good friend Mike Dyer (Grand Slam) to be the main vocalist/co-writer, which he kindly accepted.”
In his own words, here’s the Background of Each track:
"I drew inspiration from the diversity, creative fun from many of my Favorite Artists Like Jellyfish, The Beatles, Small Faces For the Opening Track “Pepperland”!
As Spinal Tap would say it’s kinda a “Rockney Song!!” I wanted the fun element in the Delivery of the Vocal Like the Amazing Steve Marriot and Jim stepped up to the plate and delivered it perfectly!!
With Lush BVs and a nod to George Harrison in the Sound and feel of the Guitar solo it’s a great feelgood start to the Adventure!
‘Otherside’, which follows it, however, has a very different sound – I wanted a more Psychedelic 60’s vibe, driving Rhythm Top down Hit the road kinda track.
‘London Bound?’, the third track, brings yet another feel to the party, Breathy Rhythm with cycling guitar, lush background vocals, strong lead 2 part vocals . It was nice to let rip on the Hammond for the Solo, channelling Mr Wright , Also fun to play the Ambient guitars at the Start and End, One of my Favs!!
“Finding My Way” is a Reflective Lyric, with a different vibe again , Drum Loops, the Gospel Like Vocals from Hayley Simone thoroughout and Mellow Hammond Solo set the scene.
Move on to ‘Voodoo’ and you’ll find driving percussion, mesmeric synthwork and vocal and layered instrumental hooks that place you under the spell of this near-seven-minute-musical piece of sorcery. Witchcraft! Lov the Talk-box Solo from Nige on this!
As a keyboard Player I’ve always liked the Heavier side of things so “Fire Me Up” sees a Hammond riff driven track with a Great edgy vocal from Mike. Initially I was going to get a Guitarist to do the solo but then I thought Hell, this is my Album so I launched into a Moogtastic Flurry aka My Hero Mr Wakeman and it just worked !!
‘After the Rain’ — the first single to drop from the album — is awash in rock energy, powerful vocals and a storming guitar solo: This time I knew I needed something special so I asked my old friend from UFO/Grand Slam: Mr Laurence Archer if he would do the Honours and boy did he !!
“Behind The Glass” I had this piece for a while without Lyrics. The chord Structures were inspired from the likes of the Beatles / Jellyfish / Crowded House so I wanted the Lyrics to suit and so when looked at Alice in Wonderland as a concept, it just Worked perfectly. I had the vocal Melodies in my Head so Vocally it took Mike out of his comfort spot and he does an amazing Job!
“Fools lullaby”. Again , another Left turn Musically, Going down the Eagles Ballad route. Stiv does me proud on this, in his element with All the Vocal Harmonies and it was nice to Play a Piano Solo for a change!
“Allow to let go”. This was a Last minute contender for the Album, Just liked it’s Happy Summer Vibe, again top Down driving Toon and Love to reprise Back to “ Pepperland”
“Breath of Life” This is THE song on the Album for me. Musically it sums up everything I love about Playing Keyboards. The lyrics came to me 6am one morning !! It all just fell into Place, What we have all been through in 2020 !! The Whole piece builds perfectly, Mike's vocals on this capture the feelings at the Time “Helpless in our Lockdown State of Mind” and I just love the Lift of “A Shot of Hope is all we need”!!. When it came to the Guitar Solo I had one Person in Mind: The incredible Talent of Mr Nigel Spennewyn. Who didn’t let me down, I wanted the Solo to Build and add to the Drama and Nigel knocks it out the Park!!
You’ll certainly get your money’s worth with this album, both from the strength and quality of the individual tracks AND the musical diversity you’ll find in the playlist! Not to mention the great replay value as you’re sure to find favourites you’ll listen to over and over again.
The album follows no genre restrictions so the styles are varied but all come from the mad world inside my head and from the heart!
I have surprised myself with my lyric writing too (especially ‘Breath of Life’), which I am very proud of, telling the story of the difficult times we all went through in 2020!
So, sit back, make yourself a Pepper sandwich. Disengage from the world for an hour and take a trip with me into ‘Pepperland’!!!”