Share video for ‘Wind Up Bird’
Announce new album ‘to the top of the hiIl and roll…’,
due 30th August via Silver Mind Records
Pet Deaths is the London-based musical duo of Graeme Martin and Liam Karima, who blend enchanting, ethereal concepts with poetic meter and hypnotic melodies to form exquisite, melancholic, celestial folk.
Having both moved to London in 2017, the duo formed following a chance encounter in Ladbroke Grove. Feeling equally cellophane new in the capital’s concrete fast lane, they agreed to meet regularly. Their subsequent writing and drinking sessions became a Zen-like philosophy by which to navigate their new homes, spending gloomy November evenings on their rain-soaked Ballardian balcony, experimenting with loops, drones and poetry.
Today they announce their debut album “to the top of the hill and roll…” and share the video for opening single “Wind Up Bird”.
Directed by lead singer Liam Karima, it features stop motion painted backdrops layered over a delicate astral wonder of hypnotic guitar loops, atmospheric percussion and earthly bird noises. Serving as an introduction to the album, the lyrics reference paranoia, depression, junk, jazz, enlightenment, the odyssey and Aokigahara forest, via Liam’s poetic and breezy vocals.
Saturday 31st August – Rough Trade East, London
Tuesday 3rd September – The Lexington, London
Wednesday 4th September – The Cluny, Newcastle
“Leonard Cohen and Jiro Yoshihara was a major talking point when we first met”, states Karima. The bleakness, the escapism, loss and minimalism played a major part in what was to come over the next few years.
Early demos made their way into the hands of Ian Davenport (Slowdive, Gaz Coombes) Producer at Radiohead’s Oxfordshire base, Courtyard Studios, beginning a relationship that sparked the process of recording their first album.
Creating the record was naturally a long process, a DIY labour of love and subconsciousness, recording hundreds of iPhone demos and reducing them into an album over the course of two years. The nine track album is an exploration of natural sound, experimenting with subtle beds of noise layered field recordings with dry acoustic sounds and vocals. Self-funded and produced over various long weekend sessions in the Oxfordshire get away, they were locked in at several points throughout the year, with no outside contact and an obsessive focus on what they were creating.
’’It is almost a concept album”, states Karima, “It starts at the paranoid beginnings of a ropey relationship and journeys through to the very bitter ends, starting at the top of the hill and ending back at the bottom.”
The album’s opening track ‘Wind Up Bird’ showcases the scope of dynamics in the musical arrangement of the record. It begins with subtle, earthly bird noises and a hypnotic guitar loop. As the song develops, this loop remains still amidst a flurry of atmospheric sounds and percussion. Karima’s vocal execution is confident yet fragile, with lyrical echoes of Ginsberg and Murakami.
“The song is loosely based around the theme of a long term relationship which is slowly taking a bitter turn,” adds Karima, “you both feel it, connection is being lost, we lose energy and patience and things start to repeat themselves, like a wind up toy.”
Previously released singles feature in the album and are given more context and life amongst the other tracks. ‘The Bats In Your Hair’ showcases Pet Deaths’ intensity, with a hypnotic piano that runs throughout. The simplicity exposes Karima’s vocal, sending the listener into the unknown, stranded in a forest and completely alienated from life.
‘Lola Or Lolita’ is about the journey up the hill, the philosophers you meet daily on the climb who share their stories on life, whether that be in a psychiatric hospital or prowling the streets of Ladbroke Grove.
‘Did You Lose Your Silver Mind In Nevada?’ is an insight into a character Liam met whilst travelling From New York To L.A, hitchhiking through the desert. “It was a very surreal moment,” he says, “the man appeared from the dust and could tell I was hurting. He asked if I’d ‘lost my silver mind’. The words resinated and stuck with me, so I decided to use it for a song to pine for the loved one I’d left behind in the dust bowl.”
A wall of sound, a vintage mellotron and haunting harmonies provide a bed to pounding drums and thick metronomic bass in ‘I Can’t Complain’, crafting feelings of reflection on the bigger picture, which evolves into the closing track ‘Meet Me at the Avalanche’,ending the record with a beautifully orchestrated wall of noise that begs the question; is an avalanche the beginning or the end?
1. Wind Up Bird
2. The Bats In Your Hair
3. At the Bottom of the Hill
4. I Never Saw It Coming
5. If Only Bad Things Could Happen
6. Lola Or Lolita
7. Did You Lose Your Silver Mind In Nevada?
8. I Can’t Complain
9. Meet Me at the Avalanche