Los Angeles-based indie rock group American Pets has a unique sound that takes you right back to the good ol’ days. They debuted their EP Doing the Best We Can on February 16, and it’s full of songs that just make you chill out.
According to the band, “the songs have a nostalgic suburban quality to them that could be compared to watching Rocco’s Modern Life on a Saturday in 1997.”
Though a strange metaphor when referring to music, somehow this comparison makes perfect sense.
In Doing the Best We Can, All American Pets Members Play an Equal Role
American Pets really stands out as a band due to the creative way that they consider each of their members.
Though the roles are generally set, with Aidin Sadeghi and Eric Cannata on guitar, Bret Leinen on bass, and Francois Comtois on drums, all have their vocals featured in different moments. They also rotate instrumentation, and they all collaborate when songwriting. This keeps American Pets from having a true lead or front man, and it gives their sound a lot more versatility and interest.
With four different voices taking individual leads on different songs, no two tracks on Doing the Best We Can are alike. Each song is a unique take on a chill vibe, and they all work together to form a unified record.
The album begins with “Forgetting,” a relaxed song with a dreamy sound. The vocals are mellow, and gentle harmonies add a floating quality. Background synth lines add atmospheric interest, and overall, the song transports you to a meditative state.
It’s a great contrast to what follows. “Dying Alone” opens with a purposeful guitar line, and a more direct drum beat adds more of a groove to the sound. The chorus almost has an anthem-like quality, and it’s a much more focused and structured song in comparison to the beautifully wistful “Forgetting.”
The album’s lead single is “Bad Dream,” which is different still, this time having a distinct retro sound and a focus on electronics. It’s more upbeat, though the vocals still have a softness to them. It’s one of the more upbeat and playful songs on the record, and the chorus is catchy and romantic: “I am breaking in two / And the only thing / that can fix me is dreaming with you.”
It has a lot of complexity in its layers, and it goes out abruptly. Overall, it’s a more extroverted sample of American Pets’ sound, and it’s a highlight of the album.
Doing the Best We Can is extremely interesting in its versatility. Though every song is drastically different, they come together to form a great and cohesive album. American Pets makes the most of each band member’s individual voice and ideas, and their creative approach to songwriting and recording really works.