Pete International Airport’s third album, It Felt Like the End of the World, is a triumph of process and vision. Named after a song by Peter G. Holmström’s other band, The Dandy Warhols, the eclectic project nails the elusive aesthetic of unexpected yet inviting sound art. The band’s quest to build immersive soundscapes that are also classic, catchy songs succeeds, 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. Rachel Goswell from Slowdive, Alexander Hackett from Pang Attack, Dion Lunadon from A Place To Bury Strangers and the D4, and, none-other-than Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick (on 12 string bass), tangle with Peter’s usual coterie of musical foils. The results are folded into Holmström’s hyper-stylized world of symbols, themes, and archetypes.
The LP'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, 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—every Pete International Airport record has eleven songs, for example—cements the collection into a beautifully cohesive whole that gets more interesting with repeated listens. Peter, his long-time collaborator and producer Jeremy Sherrer, and his stable of collaborators have given us more than one album’s worth of hooks, ideas, and beauty, but they’ve somehow smelted them into a single monolith of sound, accessible from any point, celebrating a world that just keeps ending.