The sitcoms of the ’70s and ’80s had great theme songs. Some of them are even considered among the best songs in television history. Who can forget the jingles to Different Strokes, Facts of Life, Perfect Strangers, and Love Boat? Then there are the classics like Family Ties, Silver Spoons, and la crème de la crème, Cheers. Right from the opening notes, you knew what the song was and soon the entire place would be singing the lyrics. Ah, those were good times.
Eliciting similar strong emotions is the music of Brooklyn-based sextet PEP, an unabashedly retro band. They first caught our attention in April with the perky “As Lovers” song that introduced us to their masterful reinvention of ’50s doo-wop. While still honoring the classic sounds of The Shirelles, The Ronettes, and The Shangri-Las, the band have added spice to give the genre a little edge and an extra bit of dreaminess. If we thought “As Lovers” was a Deee-Lite, they’ve outdone themselves with their latest single, “Run”, which we are immensely pleased to present today.
Like the aforementioned theme songs, “Run” will leave a smile on your face from the first note to the last. The groovy melody feels like it could have been used on an episode of Three’s Company. The addition of the soothing flute and the funky bass line have a lot to do with it. And so do the spectacular three-part harmonies of Karys Rhea, Ilana Webber, and Morgan Lynch that swirl overhead like birds greeting the first morning of spring. We can imagine that when this song is played live to an appreciative audience, whistles and raucous applause will rain down on PEP because this song evokes the feel-good sitcoms of our past.
It is hard to imagine that this song may not have seen the light of day, as the band explains more below:
The origins of “Run” stretch back to 2010 when Karys was writing most of her songs solo on an acoustic guitar. In its earliest incarnation, “Run” was a melancholic ballad with a ’90s singer-songwriter feel. From there, it morphed into something of an electronic tween-pop song before it was finally shelved, not to be re-discovered for years. The track in its current form is a direct reference to Lenny Kravitz’s “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” (an all-time favorite of ours!).
Karys was inspired by the track and realized that she had the potential for a great tune tucked away in the dark corners of her computer files. She tweaked the melody and the lyrics, but the chord structure never changed from its original composition. Now, “Run” is one of our favorite songs on the album. We had so much fun with the arrangements, particularly the rhythm section, and we especially appreciate Christina Bernard’s (of Starlight Girls) contribution as featured flutist on the track!
Hear “Run” below. As an added bonus, PEP’s previous single, “One Of These Days (I’m Gonna Be Your Girlfriend)”, is included. These two songs along with “As Lovers” are on the band’s forthcoming debut album, Presenting PEP!, which arrives September 22nd.
PEP are Karys Rhea, Ilana Webber, and Morgan Lynch with David Origlieri, Teddy Williams, and Sharif Mekawy.
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