Theo Peppers is from Toronto, Canada and signed to Highway 27 Studios, a production company based from Toronto and Los Angeles. Theo’s EP “For Noah’s Ears Only” is dedicated to a friend, Mohammad “Noah” Gilani who passed away in December 2015 due to Osteosarcoma cancer. It is intended to be a free EP, and to sound like a rough mixtape. This is also Theo’s debut EP, having just graduated from Ryerson University’s film studies program with a BFA. Mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, UK, this is as close to a perfect EP as you will find. The songs complement each other so completely that the songs seem to almost blend into one melodious song with different acts.
For me there is no, one best song on this recording, because none is capable of standing out from the rest, instead they are all capable of standing out from each other. And if you think that doesn’t make sense right now, once you listen to “For Noah’s Ears Only”, it will. Theo Peppers brings you into his mystical, melodic world for 6 elegantly arranged tracks, and we emerge somehow more ready to face the world having heard the emotional beauty that Theo is capable of.
There is no good way to put this recording into words magical enough to describe its sound. “For Noah’s Ears Only” is bar-none the most impressively intoxicating EP I had listened to by the close of 2016. Someone once asked me the question “If you only had one album on a desert island that you had to listen to over and over again, what would it be?”
During the past few years the answer would have changed occasionally, now “For Noah’s Ears Only” is a serious candidate for that album. If music flows through your soul, creates stunning scenes through your imagination, then you should own this recording. This is, in fact, a record, with solid songwriting, and immaculate musicianship, blended with a stunning production.
Vocally Theo Peppers shows unexpected versatility, from the gentle, ethereal melodies of “Party” and “Crystal Blue Eyes”, to the surprisingly acute falsetto of “On And On”, and the trademark soul-searching whisper of “Love In The Afternoon”.
“Get Go” is mesmerizing in the way that Theo develops the vocal melody in contrast to the bold electric guitar lines which dominate the track. Though fairly upbeat in places, the subtle harmonies on “Fantasies” is so gentle and warm that you could fall asleep to it while mowing the lawn. This is emotional and mood-inducing music.
Above all though, “For Noah’s Ears Only” really showcases Theo Peppers’ creative songwriting abilities. The songs are journeys and don’t conform to radio friendly time constraints. The soundscapes do not bang you over the head with heavy handed instrumentation; instead they are gentle, delicate and sprawling, looking to slowly worm their way into your soul…the deeper the better.
Hardly has the word ‘captivating’ been so extremely appropriate in describing a recording. Theo Peppers is not an artist to be taken with a pinch of salt, you need to give him your full attention and focus, and he will transport and transform you with his music.