“We’ve spent many, many hours searching for a band name, but nothing really hit us,” explains singer-songwriter Alice Peacock of her duo project with fellow troubadour Danny Myrick. “We just went with Myrick-Peacock by default, even though it kinda sounds like an accounting firm. We’re open to suggestions.”
“It’s mainly because the music and the chemistry behind it mean so much to us, so we got hung up a little bit on the name,” Myrick adds. “We didn’t want to go with just anything.”
The Nashville-based pair’s struggle to find a fitting moniker is in stark contrast to the ease of their collaboration. After a raft of breezily productive writing sessions, they recorded their eponymous, 10-song album in just two days. They even tracked many of their vocals together, which is virtually unheard of in these days of collaboration by Internet and slice-and-dice editing. But being in the same room gave their gorgeous harmonies the same glow that has been enchanting audiences in their live performances.
“We just knocked this album out,” Peacock says. “It’s really organic-sounding, and that’s what we were going for. A lot of people say it reminds them of classic Linda Ronstadt, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp.”
The rootsy, rocking uplift of such influences is particularly evident in such anthems as the dream-chasing “Great Big Love,” the saved-by-love exaltation “Right on time” (with its bottom-heavy guitar riff) and the warmly nostalgic “Brave New World,” while the edgier side of their classic influences can be heard in the rocking “Distant Thunder” and the serpentine, banjo-spiced funk workout “Sooner or Later.”
Frequently these songs address profound pain – from front-page tragedies (“Isn’t It Amazing”) to personal loss (the exquisite, spiritual closer, “In All Things”) – but invariably they light on some kind of consolation, invariably through love and faith. But whether Myrick-Peacock are channeling sorrow or exhilaration, the result is always deeply melodic, grooving and brimming with harmony.
The Minnesota minister’s daughter and Mississippi preacher’s son found a deep chemistry while collaborating on Peacock’s 2009 solo album, Love Remains. Though both had become skeptical of the religious certainty they’d grown up with, they shared a profound spiritual connection to music that had begun in church. “I’ve felt the same thing at a Springsteen concert that I felt in a Pentacostal congregation,” Myrick volunteers. “Alice and I approach life’s big questions in similar ways, so we’ve been able to convey our faith – and even our uncertainty – through music without getting preachy about it.” Adds Peacock, “It’s all about connection, which I remind myself every time I’m about to go onstage.”
Myrick quickly became a fixture at Peacock’s live shows as a sideman and harmony singer. They continued writing and playing her material but began to realize that the songs they were crafting together were better suited to a duo.
Myrick describes them as musical soulmates. “We have a blast writing, playing and just hanging out,” he says. “You can feel that synergy in the room. Vocally, it’s like a third presence – there’s almost a mystical quality. We’ve had that from the get-go, and the more we focused on it, the more strongly people responded.”
How would their preacher pops feel about the use of Biblical figures as romantic analogies (“Like Moses at the Red Sea/Baby, that was you showing up for me,” they harmonize in “Right on Time”)? Hard to say, but clearly such lore remains at the core of their musical imaginations – even if they’ve gone on to compose their own versions of belief. And judging by the reaction of audiences at their shows, they’re making a profound connection.