Credit: Pet Envy
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Credit: Pet Envy
Pet Envy, a pop-rock quintet based in Nashville, is a group grounded in authenticity - they’re not hiding behind pretense - what you see is what you get.
The band, consisting of Shelbi Albert (vocals), Jake Diggity (vocals, guitar), Emma Lambiase (vocals, bass), Jordan Klatt (keys, synth), and Matthew Singler (drums), have made a name for themselves as purveyors of invigorating live performances. Their captivating shows are in part due to their spontaneity: collaborating with the audience to create a unique experience each time allowing for moments like a jazz-style improvisational break down with a presence that will enthrall all of your senses.
Pet Envy has attracted the likes of Roy Agee (Prince), Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band) and Nathan McLeod (Ron Pope) to make up the horn section of some of their performances; Agee and Coffin also play on their sophomore EP, Flowers for Your Brain (2017).
Formed in 2016, Pet Envy released two EPs that are an amalgam of synth pop, rock and funk, and their forthcoming single “Middleman” (September 28) finds Pet Envy in a more matured indie rock space than ever before. To achieve this sonic evolution, the band took a more collaborative approach to songwriting and employed a top studio team: their co-producer Joshua Reynolds (Little Big Town, Dancing on Tables) and Nathan Dantzler (Ellie Goulding, Niall Horan).
Pet Envy’s songwriting explores themes of overcoming negativity, self doubt and helplessness as well as confronting sexism and sexualization in the music industry. But don’t expect to blast their record for a good cry session - their upbeat fists-in-the-air style sets these narratives in a sonic landscape that will make you want to roller skate with your best pals. “We approach topics in our writing like a friend instead of a therapist, avoiding cliches and piousness,” the band explains.
“Middleman” represents a shift for the band towards a three-person co-lead vocal dynamic between Diggity, Albert and Lambiase, the latter of whom joined the band in late 2017. The track is the first that Diggity takes the reins on lead vocals, previously singing background or call and response with Albert, Pet Envy’s captain of vocal gymnastics.
Each voice lends something unique to the project - able to shine on their own and come together in rich harmony. Diggity offers a warm texture falling somewhere between The xx’s Oliver Simm and David Byrne. Albert’s agile set of pipes soar to beautiful heights, deftly straddling jazz, pop, soul and rock. Her effortless high notes are inviting, opening up a canvas for the listener to explore rather than punching you in the face with it’s sheer power. The melodic timbre of Lambiase can best be described as a classic female indie tone with jazzy inflections serving a French pop vibe. Three individualistic voices colliding to deliver a fresh cadence on top of unique sonic canvas.
With influences ranging from Prince, Talking Heads and late Motown, Pet Envy brings something unique to the indie rock sphere. At the intersection of pop and new wave, Pet Envy is sure to delight fans of Misterwives, Arcade Fire and Fitz and the Tantrums.