Out today on Beth Shalom records, PETSEMATARY release their label debut single, ‘Get Away With It’. We caught up with frontwoman Gaby-Elise for a quick chat about the release.

Tell us about the single!
It’s about mental health, relationships and family. I remember writing the chorus in my last few weeks of uni. I’d just started taking medication for my anxiety/depression and started jamming out the chords with my bassist Luke in my shitty student halls flat. For me and for a lot of my friends as well, family and upbringing has such a huge impact on how you deal with mental health stuff, and I think that going through a phase where all of my mental health issues seemed to come to a head made me really realise that. I wanted to make a song that kind of addressed that frustrating fact but also offered a lot of hope, love and acceptance. Family issues and dealing with the cards you have been dealt is such a massive part of just surviving, and I don’t want to be a person that tries to sweep this stuff under the rug. I want to be able to embrace my fuck ups when they happen and I want to be able to accept other people for their fuck ups too haha. It’s not about finding blame or justification, but about self acceptance and learning from this stuff. Basically it’s okay not to be okay, cause a lot of us just aren’t, and that’s completely okay!!! We recorded the song with our friend and local Oxford talent Chris Barker of Premium Leisure/Willie J Healey. He is super open, creative and just a super nice and passionate guy so I think we all felt really comfortable and inspired working with him. 

What’s it like launching a single during a lockdown?
It was pretty stressful at first especially because the gigging part was initially the main focus of our release plan, and of course like every other artist we had to cancel our tour. However it really gave us an opportunity to work on the campaign in more detail and we are super lucky to be releasing the song on Beth Shalom Records. We were also super lucky to be in the April issue of Flying Vinyl which was another awesome opportunity, and companies like Flying Vinyl are super important for baby bands like us. Another aspect of it is that it seems like a really important time to be releasing music. The whole situation is traumatic and overwhelming – I’ve found it really difficult to indulge in creative stuff just because it feels like there are so many bigger things at stake. People are risking their lives on the daily, our government is inept, people are dying. We have all of this craziness going on in the background, and with that I think people really need art and music right now. It’s peace, escapism and catharsis, and whilst it’s not a massive priority I just hope that the song can offer a moment of respite from the chaos. 

Tell us about the Oxford music scene – what bands should we be listening to?
The Oxford music scene is absolute family – I’ve met some of my best friends and some of the most talented people I know through shows here and it’s just really wholesome and accepting. Bands everyone should be listening to are fuzzy garage punks Self Help and jazzy-art-prog legends Lucy Leave who happen to be some of the loveliest and most creative people I know. Premium Leisure are also one of my favourite bands at the moment – Chris is an incredible songwriter and guitarist and makes the catchiest psychy indie rock tunes ever. Indie pop heart throbs BE GOOD are also one of my favs – their lyrics are extremely relatable and I have found myself crying to their songs whilst drunk maybe too many times than I care to admit.