Let’s Pet’s death-obsessed debut LP was so good, they kept it hidden for 7 years

A pretty-sounding record with “a morbid fixation on death, murder, and suffering.”

February 21, 2019
Let’s Pet’s death-obsessed debut LP was so good, they kept it hidden for 7 years

You may have completely missed Teith, the noise-scarred post-everything quartet who built drones and glitches into mini-monuments for a little while at the turn of the decade. They disbanded in 2010 and only released their debut full-length, Humboldt Park, three years later. The record wasn’t quite chaotic — there were clear structures and melodies beneath the crackles and electric gurgles and pummeling drums — but there was enough going on to almost completely disorient the listener.

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Anyway, by the time Teith got around to releasing that record, three of their members — Lisa Shelley, Billy Baumann, and Trevor de Brauw — had moved onto a new project with their friend Dan Staackmann. Let’s Pet were more understated, doing away with the clatter and the clutter and letting in a little melancholia. They were writing goth-pop songs with lyrics that, in de Brauw’s words, had “a morbid fixation on death, murder, and suffering.”

Knowing that the band would lie dormant for a while after the birth of Shelley and de Brauw’s first child, they resolved to record an LP, The Bluff, with the help of Che Arthur in 2012. On February 22, finally, with the band still on hiatus, that album is set to be released via Migration Media, and you can listen to it in advance below. It’s a disarmingly pretty record, minimal and sparse in parts, buoyed by Shelley’s crystalline vocals but haunted by misery. (“Into the night you came into my heart / With the rageful youth our love fell apart / Crying eyes can never bring this story to a close,” Shelley sings on the glistening title track.)

“It feels like we spent an almost comically long amount of time honing these songs in our basement practice space, but it was a fun challenge filling every nook and cranny with melodies and countermelodies and harmonies and earworms and the like,” de Brauw wrote in an email to The FADER. “But where the music was bright and colorful it somehow compelled us to adorn them with lyrics that wallowed in murder, romance gone wrong, and suffering. It’s all a bit anachronistic, but maybe it’s fitting for this period of time — dour and hopeful, anxiety-ridden and resolute.”

Stream The Bluff in full below.

Let’s Pet’s death-obsessed debut LP was so good, they kept it hidden for 7 years