By: James Goff / Music Specialist
Kiley Lotz is Petal. Many other musicians (generally from other Scranton bands such as Tigers Jaw and Three Man Cannon) fill in live, but this group is hers. When I went to the most recent holiday show in Scranton, where all of the groups that originated there play, I was about one set late, and it was hers. I had a chance to communicate with her a few times, but had only ever seen a YouTube video or two, and so I was only like 10% sure it was her. Now that I’ve listened to her debut full-length, Shame, I regret missing her performance and not picking her brain 100 times more.
Petal is probably the most pop influenced group in the area, but she still has a heavy focus on musical complexity and lyrical beauty. She is quoted on her Run For Cover profile page as saying “This record is kind of the apology, the confession and the acceptance of the ways I’ve felt shame in my life and trying to share it with others.” Her objective is very evident in the first song, Camera Lens where Lotz apologizes “If I seemed unable to move, unable to speak, unable to breathe.” In a song titled Camera Lens II, Lotz adds to the sad story, but with more upbeat vocals and music. The pain on this record is unreal, and I admire Lotz all the more for it, as shouting your hurt into the void like she has is certainly no task for the faint of heart.
This would be a good album for introducing someone to the punk pop and emo scene, as it’s a bit further on the pop side than some others groups such as The Front Bottoms or Modern Baseball. It can be a little too repetitive at times, but usually Lotz has a good lyrical purpose. The music usually isn’t too heavy, and when it is it isn’t overbearing. It seems like Lotz put together a piece that she cared about, and that’s all one can hope for.
Favorite Track: Sooner