In April 2020, right as the Covid-19 pandemic went full tilt on the North Bay, West Marin-musician Colin Schlitt released a five-track EP, A Million Suns, under his solo project Peppermint Moon.
Schlitt, who also plays bass and sings a bit in the band El Radio Fantastique, recorded that EP alone in his Point Reyes Station home. Now, nearly two years later, Peppermint Moon is back with another five-song exploration of life in the time of Covid.
Released in November, Peppermint Moon’s latest EP, Mr. Manager, again spotlights Schlitt’s indie-pop aesthetics with songs about love, confusion and moving forward while being stuck at home.
“The pandemic has been a mixed bag for sure,” Schlitt says. “I work at a school, and it’s definitely been a little intense and nerve-wracking, but I’ve escaped Covid so far.”
One huge highlight for Schlitt during the pandemic is meeting his girlfriend Sandra, who he calls the love of his life. The two met a year ago and went on over a dozen socially distant dates before they got vaccinated. On those dates, Schlitt played guitar for Sandra, and he began writing a new batch of songs that would eventually find their way on the new EP.
“We had to be careful because I take care of my mom, and also because my son Nico has asthma,” Schlitt says. “After a few months, we both were finally vaccinated and we had our first kiss. That was pretty amazing.”
Schlitt sings about the experience on Mr. Manager’s third track, “Lovely Lynx.” The album’s opener, “My Little Friend,” was also one of Schlitt’s date songs.
All five tracks on the EP feel timely in their own way, even ones written before the pandemic’s onset. “Gonna Figure It Out” is a chaotic blend of angst and worry, with fuzzed-out guitars. The closer, “Bass Face,” channels the vibes of 1970s cop shows like Hawaii Five-O and The Streets of San Francisco, both of which Schlitt’s father wrote episodes for.
Throughout, Mr. Manager is filled with lo-fi dream-pop that balances its cathartic lyrics with hooks and riffs that stick in the mind like the best kind of earworms.
“I decided my goal with this Peppermint Moon project: I want to put something out every year,” Schlitt says. “It’s very therapeutic for me, and whether anyone else is listening to it or not, it makes me happy and gives me a lot of peace in my world.”