I haven’t written a blog review/write-up/article/whatever the hell you want to call it in what feels like… well, a long ass time. But Petey, otherwise recognized as PeteyUSA on TikTok, has ripped me out of my journalistic retirement with his twelve track debut album Lean Into Life released on Terrible Records. Even if only one person becomes a fan from this I’d feel accomplished, because this LP is just that good and Petey is just that type of honest talent that deserves everyone’s attention.

We’ve all been going through it this pandemic, and a lot of us have seen numerous changes in our lives that have really just beat us down. Whether we’re using humor, alcohol, food or music to persevere, we’ve all got plenty of crap to cope with and Petey offers up an extremely authentic expression that not only gives us a peak into his relatable life, but a vastly dynamic musical escape and an anthem that will give you a kick in the toosh to push back when life is feeling like the villain of your movie.

Lean Into Life as described by Petey himself is “of the indie-rock variety,” but it’s so much more than that. Sliding through styles with ease, Petey does follow a sonic centerline but infuses a lot of electronic instrumentation into the mix for a clean balance of the organic and synthetic.

What strikes me most about Petey’s music is his authenticity. That word is thrown around a lot but it’s not until you come across someone like Petey you realize what that actually means. We can describe it, we can repeat the definition, but the term’s true nature isn’t something that’s really quantifiable. Not to get too hippy dippy, but it’s truly felt and I can certainly feel it pulsating through from start to finish on this LP.

As someone who was born, left and returned to the Golden State, I can 100% live by Lean Into Life‘s first track whose chant “I’d rather be depressed in California” which has become my go-to answer for everyone who’s asked me about moving elsewhere.

Following up are a string of my other favorites including the quirky “Apple TV Remote,” the previously released hit “Pitch A Fit!” and the heartfelt love anthem “Don’t Tell The Boys” which has literally made me cry several times while listening and thinking about my own girlfriend.

But the song that sticks out to me the most as one of the most genuine, fun, funny, sad, awesome, and unique songs is the title track “Lean Into Life.” It’s a 5 and half minute journey that is structurally different from usual expectations and is the aforementioned masterpiece that has become a mantra for my own life. Petey does everything right on this one and gives us what I imagine is his most deeply personal song. It’s minimal, yet cathartic, it builds in all the right ways. Despite showing vulnerability, it feels like this song – and the full LP – were loads of fun to craft. I could go on and on forever, but I don’t want to bore you with my adoration as you can plainly see I believe Petey to be a special musician.

Petey wants to just be a guy making stuff, and that’s something I can get behind. With lifeless brands taking over, it’s nice to see a genuine creative take the stage and deliver something extraordinary, yet down-to-Earth. I hope Lean Into Life hits you as hard as it did me, and make sure to also check out PeteyUSA on TikTok if you’re into alt-comedy. I could do a whole other review about his hilarious antics as one of my favorite TikTokers, but let’s leave it to the music for now. Enjoy.

Stream/Download ‘Lean Into Life’

PS, Petey is going to be on tour!

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