American Pets may be a new name on the scene, but these cats hit all the marks to make their new single “Dying Alone” an instant millennial indie classic. Relatable lyrics about alienation and social anxiety? Check. Soft, slightly sullen songwriting? Check. Nostalgia for 90s suburbia? You know that’s a big ol’ check.
The LA-based 4-piece formed last year in 2017, the combined venture of Young the Giant veterans Eric Cannata and Francois Comtois alongside guitarist Aidin Sadeghi and bassist Bret Leinen. The foursome quickly entered the studio to record their first EP Doing the Best We Can (with the help of a successful crowdsourcing campaign), which was just released in February. Leaving behind the driving, pulsing sound of YTG, American Pets instead dial down the rock energy in favor of a more mellow and introspective approach. With “Dying Alone,” we see a band making surprisingly effective use of a subdued and downplayed style. Bringing in elements of dream pop and a shimmering surf-rock production to their guitar-pop songwriting, American Pets make quite an impression without making a point to rock the boat.
“Dying Alone” is built on a simple foundation of arpeggiated chords and dreamy vocal lines. A gossamer blanket of jangly guitar noise brings a textural quality to the track without intruding on the ethereal atmospherics that characterize the overall sound. These are nice and all, but the lyrics are the real kicker here, exploring the duality of loneliness that defines the disconnection and disaffection in modern relationships; reconciling a desire for companionship against the safety and comfort of solitude. The video depicts a narrative along the lines of that same theme. We see a child who feels isolated from normal society—perhaps self-imposed, perhaps not—who finds joy and confidence within himself, and through that, acceptance and empowerment. It’s cute, it’s heartwarming, and it’s undeniably genuine—check it out!
Pick up American Pets’ new EP Doing the Best We Can, available everywhere now, and check out the new video for “Dying Alone,” streaming exclusively on Culture Collide.