Back in 2019, the London-based duo Pet Deaths, consisting of Graeme Martin and Liam Karima, put out their acclaimed debut album To the Top of the Hill and Roll. Now, they have made their long-awaited return in a “message to the afterlife” with their latest filigreed folk-inflected gem ‘All the Things You Said You Were (I Don’t Believe in Ghosts)’.
Like a tonne of feathers, the track is both heavy and weightless, amorphously floating along as though the duo have lassoed it from the passing ether as a fully formed patch of celestial cognizance, proving that bliss doesn’t have to be ignorant. Finding peace amid poignancy, the soaring song is both light and dark and that rarely trodden daybreak terrain is not often picnicked upon in music, making it a refreshing force to behold while a lot of other tracks at the moment aim for adjectives like ‘wistful’ but without any of the same substance Pet Deaths provide they merely come off as wispy.
Without trying to beat a bush that has already been rattled to death, it can barely be stated enough how much cause for reflection the pandemic has brought about. This spirit seeps out of the song like spiritual honey, as Karima explains: “It’s a letter to a lost soul, to a loved one. Loss plays a big part in everyone’s life and when we go through this motion it evokes a dream-like state mantra. The words were written on a reflective walk in Dalston along a small river, where ducks procreate and kids sell drugs. I thought about Virginia Woolf, I thought about my friend, I thought about Caroline Flack, I thought about Sylvia Plath. It’s a celebration of all the things we had and lost. The letter I sent, still waiting for a reply.”
Starting with a guitar riff akin to a sonic sigh the songs floaty ethereal feel is established from the start. However, as the unfurling words dredge up depth, muted flutes enter the mix almost meekly before the dawn chorus gathers and producer Ian Davenport drifts in half-notes from violinist Art Sawbridge and Jake Parsons on saxophone, creating a swell that soars while a beauteous rumbling bass ensures it stays grounded.
The track is a snapshot of what is soon to follow with their second album. And as Karima explains, there is plenty more delicate poignancy in the mix yet. “When writing the new music, I was at this stage in my life where I was finding new love, new beginnings but also losing things in the fire,” singer Liam Karima said. “The main focus was the question – ‘is life an unhappy ending?’ Or do we become part of a bigger movement to more positive things?” Let’s hope the album can help us answer affirmatively with the latter.
As of yet, no release date has been announced for the album, but we’ll be sure to inform you once the boys have settled on the right time to share it with the world. For now, you can check out the latest single below and check out their tour dates by clicking here. Enjoy blissfully…