Master Peace – ‘Love Bites’ EP review: Londoner sitting pretty on the indie-pop throne

This loved-up collection dives into the pure feelings of childhood, before everything got so complicated

“I’m what a rockstar looks like,” Master Peace proudly told NME back in 2019. While not treading traditional genre lines, in terms of an artist tearing up the script of coolness and redefining what a rockstar even means – his first release ‘The Lift’ saw him rapping over A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ – he’s probably right.

Since the release of ‘The Lift’ in 2018, Master Peace has refused to be bogged down by genre, traditional guidelines or expectations. He lent his syrupy vocals to a remix of SG Lewis’ pop-house single ‘Chemicals’, recruited JME for a remix of his breezy track ‘Night Time’ and flirted with hyperpop alongside No Rome on MISOGI’s euphoric ‘Heart Chained’. In each setting he’s thrived, showing off a malleable voice that is driven by personality and energy.

‘Love Bites’, Master Peace’s debut EP, was primarily inspired by his childhood, a period that saw him listening to rap and hip-hop with his friends before sneaking home to spin records by Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys and other indie royalty. This love of guitar-driven bangers comes out to play in force on the new EP – no longer a clandestine habit, but a defining part of his arsenal.

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The EP revolves around the idea that “really and truly most of us are big softies,” he says, and this romance manifests itself on songs that are warm and joyous. On opener ‘Eyes On You’, he revels in the breathtaking rush of a new crush as he winks: “You look like a snack and I want a bite.”

Elsewhere, the title track is enveloped in a warm, loving daze, while ‘Regular Feelings’ incorporates a reggae beat and comes complete with a video aiming to showcase “unfiltered Black love”. Unfiltered is a suitable word to describe the ‘Love Bites’ EP as a whole, too. Diving into the uncomplicated, pure feelings of childhood, before everything got so complicated, it’s a collection that shows Master Peace’s inner self, a loved-up artist unafraid to explore the entire genre spectrum with youthful exuberance.

The coherency and success of ‘Love Bites’ doesn’t mean we’ll see Master Peace in this shape forever; it’s equally likely he’ll pivot to another rap EP, or follow up his SG Lewis collaboration with more of that ilk, becoming an in-demand vocalist for dance producers. The uncertainty is exciting, though, and kind of the whole point – rock stars are those who do whatever they want.

Details

Master Peace

  • Release date: November 6
  • Record label: EMI
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