The nostalgic playground that Anna Lester plays on, swinging back and forth through childhood memories and climbing the rock wall into adulthood builds the sturdiest structure for Jacksonville-native, Bobby Kid’s pictorial debut album, Peach. Immediately, one can hear and feel the melancholy on Lester’s lips as she embraces what becoming an adult means, reflecting vividly in her lyricism on her youth that sways between the yin and yang of sugar-coated nostalgia and warm memories tinged with sadness.
The message of Peach seems to battle growing pains and struggles realizing that sometimes the armor you put on decorated with trust and hope cannot protect you from the world. Lester makes a point, though, through the bittersweet nature of the tracks, to thank her bruises and scars for being an integral part in shaping her into the woman she is as she sings each word. It seems like nobody wants to read other people’s reflections of their beliefs and politics. But, as Peach demonstrates, it’s the flares of a woman’s rambling mind that keep the listener engaged- the lyrics are scribbles of stories and emotions, a hodge-podge of memories, analyzation, and rambling thoughts that feel more homey and comforting than one would think when listening to a stranger recount their childhood and fights with adulthood.
The diaristic feel of Bobby Kid seeps through on the simplest track, “O Little One.” The song appears to almost be like a letter written to Lester’s younger self, detailing who she is now and what she is still grappling with- helping one to remember that age really is just a number in the grand scheme of things.
“Still Here” chronicles small-town culture, pushing and pulling the frustration between wanting to get out and not wanting to leave your loved ones. Lester’s ability to flesh out the existential crisis that bubbles up inside anyone who itches with wanting more out of life than what the town can give them, is impeccable in its delivery. A town one is ingrained to believe should be where they end their days is criticized as much as it is looked at candidly.
The closing track, “Brother,” stays true to the album’s narration, but instead the tune seems more raw and unfiltered. Lester’s vocals aren’t perfect, with lyrics almost spoken instead of sung in a few spots. The instrumentals are not as smooth as they have proven to be. The technicalities of music are chucked out the window as the tension bubbles in her voice before allowing herself to crack near the latter half of the song, as she belts and accompanied instrumentals blow. It’s almost as if the voice of the record changes, the floodgates of stories untold and emotional prudence finally flowing, as “Brother” comes to an end. It’s completely stunning to realize the symbolism each track holds as they give way to the closer’s shattering of bottled up emotions.
Bobby Kid’s Peach is at its most vulnerable when played on the open road or hiding underneath the covers late at night, only your mind to keep you company. Lester encapsulates what it means to get older as things seem to get harder, not only physically but mentally. Wondering how to pay bills. Wondering where life will take her. Wondering how life has brought her where she is today. The record’s ability to read as an unlocked diary lets these fears and thoughts build, allowing her to truly garner the ears of others like wide-eyes desperate to turn the page. Bobby Kid’s ability to make a stranger feel like a kindred spirit is what has enabled them to stand-out as a group in their scene.