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Christopher Peifer Releases Sophomore Solo Album 'The Social Distance'

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Christopher Peifer Releases Sophomore Solo Album 'The Social Distance'

Less than one year after his critically acclaimed debut solo album, "Suicide Mission," NYC-based musician, songwriter, and theatrical sound designer, Christopher Peifer releases his sophomore 10-track solo LP, "The Social Distance," written and recorded entirely in the year of pandemic, lockdowns, unprecedented unemployment, death, political upheaval, and social distancing.

With The Kowalskis, Sir, and Frances Farmer My Hero, Peifer has performed in 14 countries (and countin­­­g). Having played in nearly 20 bands in as many years, and most recently in Blockhouses (with Guy Lyons of The Figgs), Peifer currently writes, records, and performs with Steve Shiffman & the Land of No, and Todd Giudice's Pig Iron.

In the wake of his father's death of COVID-19 in the Midwest, Peifer wrote the songs in Fort Wayne, IN, making regular trips to the east coast to record them, at Roots Cellar Studio, a converted barn in Cold Spring, NY, owned and run by long-time collaborator, Todd Giudice. Inspired by some favorite time-tested records, like Elvis Costello's "Taking Liberties," with its plentiful 2-to-3-minute catchy power pop gems, this music is highly melodic and infectious. Additionally influenced by the likes of The Replacements, Bash & Pop, Hüsker Dü, Bob Mould, Lemonheads, The Figgs, Nick Lowe, Big Star, Sloan, and most definitely a little tequila.

Like "Suicide Mission," "The Social Distance" consists primarily of experiential and autobiographical sketches. Overall, the album explores themes of love, loss, isolation, reconciliation and reunion:
• "In the Social Distance" is an anthemic promise to reunite with loved ones, after a year of phone calls and Zoom chats: "Never forget your way / I'm longing for a new day rising / waiting there on the horizon / I can see you in the social distance now."
• "Midnight Radio" revels in escaping the city for the solitary mountains of western Massachusetts, where Peifer also divides his time, with the radio as his only companion and beacon.
• "Meet Me at the Bar" is a kind of drinking song. A rousing ode dedicated to missed friends during the time of Covid. A longing to gather with those we'll never see again at the bar.
• Of "Something to Believe in" Peifer says, "Patti Smith's political anthem 'People Have the Power' and Curtis Mayfield's ''Power to the People' inspired my humble offering. It's a positive rallying cry, written with the timelessness of Patti's in mind and at heart, providing a glimmer of optimism and purpose, if our better angels can prevail."
• "The Kindest Cut" is a break-up song, with a dark twist: "It's not the sharpness of the knife / But how deep it goes" ...
• "The Ride" is a somber ballad about Peifer's childhood hometown rock n roll heroes, who moved to LA, hung with Mötley Crüe and Poison, only to pack it in after fame and fortune proved elusive; and the fate of the lead singer, who died in a car accident.
• "Building it to Fall" expands on the theme of climate change, established in Suicide Mission's "Throw You a Line."
• "The Infernal Racket" is dedicated to the great indie radio stations across the country and around the world, which have supported Peifer's music, and that of other under-the-radar independent, underground garage, power pop, and rock n roll.
• "Let's Get the Band Back Together" chronicles the real-life erratic trajectory of a band and its eccentric, if overly-educated, personnel: "A decade later Matt's a fully fledged professor / A real cunning linguist, a man of many hats / He's so well versed, and chorused, too / Sometimes it takes the third degree to reunite the band." And ties in Peifer's own soul searching during the time of its writing: "How far does one have to go / Just to find your way home?"
• The album closes with the stripped-down, intimate "Can't Dance at All" encouraging the listener to shed inhibitions, and embrace joy where it can be found.
"As always music is my saving grace," Peifer says. "It's saved my life more than once. Writing and recording these songs this past year has been a cathartic, necessary, endeavor." This fall he begins rehearsing multiple, regional touring lineups.

Album credits:

Christopher Peifer: guitars, bass, lead vocals, keys
Todd Giudice: drums, backing vocals, acoustic gtr, keys
Produced by Todd Giudice and Christopher Peifer
Engineered and mixed by Todd Giudice at Roots Cellar Studio, Cold Spring, NY
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY
All songs © Christopher Peifer (2021)
℗ ekkyklema (ASCAP)
Cover illustration by Sarah MacGhee

Track List:

In the Social Distance
Midnight Radio
Meet Me at the Bar
Something to Believe in
The Kindest Cut
The Ride
Building it to Fall
The Infernal Racket
Let's Get the Band Back Together
Can't Dance at All


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