From the city of Portland and the depths of one’s psyche comes Pete International Airport, which revolves around Peter G. Holmström of The Dandy Warhols, who has released the new album ‘It Felt Like The End of the World’ via Little Cloud Records.
Their third album, this is a meticulously crafted psychedelic rock journey into the dark heart of electronica. It is also a triumph of process and vision. Mixed by Jeremy Sherrer at Spooky Electric Co. (Modest Mouse, The Shins, The Dandy Warhols), the album was mastered by Dave Coley at Elysian Mastering.
“This record was mostly written and recorded during the pandemic so sonically and lyrically it can’t help but be influenced by what we all went through. There is a melancholy darkness as well as a peaceful beauty. The album title came from a “fairytale/poem” that is whispered at the end of ‘Sea Of Eyes’. It perfectly captures the hopeful/scary feeling of change that comes at the end of something,” says Peter G. Holmström.
Named after a song by Holmström’s other band, The Dandy Warhols, this eclectic project nails the elusive aesthetic of unexpected yet inviting sound art. Pete International Airport’s quest to build immersive soundscapes that are also classic, catchy songs is successful, in part, due to Holmström’s uncanny ability to curate and his penchant for dropping collaborators into challenging creative spaces—both virtual and actual—then letting them duke it out.
This album features numerous guests, including Rachel Goswell (Slowdive, Mojave 3), Alexander Hackett(Pang Attack), Dion Lunadon (A Place To Bury Strangers, The D4), and none-other-than Cheap Trick‘s Tom Petersson on 12-string bass, each tangling with PIA’s usual coterie of musical foils with songs merging into Holmström’s hyper-stylized world of symbols, themes and archetypes.
Pete International Airport also presents the video for ‘Next of Kin’ featuring Lisa Elle of Dark Horses, who says, “In the depths of isolation, I recall wanting to overcome the usual caution and hesitation one often experiences when faced with lots of time and choice. Recognising that life is fleeing can actually be life affirming. This is a song born of frustration and a need to push onwards full heartedly. Working with Peter remotely has been, on the one hand a private experience – developing ideas and recording by myself but also a liberating exercise in surrender and real creative acceptance”.
The album’s core roster boasts the cream of the neo-psychedelic crop, of which The Dandy Warhols and their shadow, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, are the reigning kings. Members of Dark Horses, Omniscuro, Sun Atoms, Guiding Light and Hopewell, most of whom are repeat collaborators and on-again / off-again members of the live band, give voice to the album’s elegiac thesis while adding more light and hope than could be expected from this scene, at this time in history, and in a business that was just dealt a death blow by a pandemic.
The use of repetition – visually and sonically – and the use of limitations and boundaries (i.e. every Pete International Airport record has 11 songs) cements the collection into a beautifully cohesive whole that becomes more interesting with repeated listens. Peter, his long-time collaborator / producer Jeremy Sherrer, and his stable of co-creators have given us more than one album’s worth of hooks, ideas and beauty, somehow smelting them into a single monolith of sound that is accessible from any point, celebrating a world that just keeps ending.
“Musically, this record started with an obsession on the bass tone/line from The Cure’s ‘Fascination Street’ and a healthy appreciation of the detail in their sonic density. Most songs start on an acoustic, which in most cases gets muted somewhere in the process. Then layers of beats, bass lines, melodies, arpeggios, etc. get added / removed until the piece of music is interesting enough to entice someone to write lyrics and sing on it,,” says Peter G. Holmström.
“Lyrically, I might suggest a topic that captures our dark chaotic world without sounding preachy. Sometimes the singers listen to me, other times they follow what the song makes them feel.”
‘It Felt Like The End of the World’ is out now via Little Cloud Records, downloadable from fine music platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp, where it is also available on CD and a Deluxe double-album in a gatefold sleeve, pressed on transparent vinyl with an orange blob or on transparent vinyl with a purple blob.