Having only just stepped onto the music scene in May, Pet Owner (real name Lea Mathis) had made a considerable splash. Her first single “Hysterical” racked up thousands of streams on release, all thanks to its comforting lyrics, smooth singing and vibrant production.
“Hi-Res”, however, takes a slightly different approach and instead focuses on making a slower song with more extravagant production.
All of Pet Owner’s usual quirks can still be found on “Hi-Res”. The velvety singing takes up a lot of the spotlight, with layered vocal passages sprinkled throughout the track.
The element of the song I was drawn to most, though, was the production.
The music starts off with a buzzing guitar lead, with synth leads joining in to create a luscious mix of sounds. The drums that come in after the intro set things in motion, but they’re not your average drums. They’re crunchy and very obviously electronic. There is some slightly more organic sounding bass to ground the song out.
At the 2:18 mark, in the right channel, there’s a really quick tapping sound that I just can’t put my finger on. I listen to a lot of unconventional and weird music, but never before have I heard such out-there production in an indie pop song. It’s fascinating and leaves me wondering just how many more odd sounds Pet Owner can squeeze into the 4 minute runtime.
Funnily enough, she finds a way! This time, it centers around her voice. Vocal passages start to get chopped up and placed around to make an oddly satisfying close to the song. However, just when you think the song has come to its natural conclusion, Pet Owner blasts you with a final blast of distorted synth and vocals.
Overall, Pet Owner is doing something really different within the indie pop scene and I hope that future releases surprise me as much as “Hi-Res” has done.