Peaer Credit: Marcus Maddox

In August, a couple days before Brooklyn indie-rock trio Peaer released their second album, A Healthy Earth (Tiny Engines), the Fader ran an interview with the band where drummer Jeremy Kinney sketched out their ambitions. “One of my goals in writing all of these songs was to achieve a level of scale,” he said. “To not just talk about interpersonal relationships, but also about the world at large at various levels: the government, the environment, or culture.” The result of all that reaching is a vital listen; each song on A Healthy Earth retains its intimacy even as Peaer grapple with problems much bigger than themselves. The lyrics on the loopy “Like You” may sound like simple communications between two people, but they illustrate bigger realities; when front man Peter Katz blithely intones, “I like you because I look like you,” he captures an emotional response that’s helping drive the resurgence of populist nationalism. On “Commercial” he sings about the anxiety wrapped up in something as routine as buying a new hair product—his choice is connected to a web of negative consequences, largely unknown to him, that can affect everything from his health to global climate change. From the tension in his voice, I’m prepared to believe he’s lost sleep over this (in another life, he could’ve written for The Good Place). But as much as Peaer struggle with great philosophical questions, they sound like they’re having fun doing it, at least judging from their fancy melodies and whimsical, mathy approach to indie rock. They embrace the idea of parallel realities on “Multiverse,” which on the vinyl version starts at the end of side A and ends at the beginning of side B. That cheeky move—requiring an acrobatically fast LP flip to maintain the flow of a tune—suggests that the band want their listeners to stay on their toes.   v