New Music Recs: “Did I Mention I’m Sorry” by Petey

I reviewed Petey’s album Lean into Life when it came out, and it’s been intermittently on repeat ever since. (Like last month, for example; I’ll get to my Monthly Obsessions soon.) His latest single, “Did I Mention I’m Sorry” came on a mix and so I thought I’d review it here.

To be honest, I almost didn’t recognize the song as a Petey song. It’s slower and quieter than much of Lean, yet in an interesting contrast, Petey himself sings faster and breathier. On Lean, his voice is a loud yelp that’s incredibly earnest without being harsh. The chorus of “Sorry” features a ghost of that yelp, which is when I finally recognized it as a Petey single. You hear his same earnestness here; it’s even in the song title.

Petey covers themes of nostalgia (“More to Life Than Baseball”) and confronting the past (“Don’t Tell the Boys”) mixed with the mundane elements of life (“Apple TV Remote”). “Sorry” is mostly about the past and addressing a bygone relationship. He so expertly walks the line between wanting to say sorry and deflecting it as sarcasm. His vulnerability is one of the reasons why I love his music.

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