One of my 22 for 2022, Deanna Petcoff is a Royal Mountain Records’ signed songwriter based out of Toronto, Ontario. Courtesy of a drip-feed of excellent singles, Deanna has been catching the ear of many tastemakers over the last few years and is set to take the logical next step in April with the release of her debut album, To Hell With You, I Love You. Recorded over the course of a year in her home city, To Hell With You, I Love You is an exploration of human relationships, an examination of, “the ways in which they can either grow or falter”.
Ahead of the release, this week Deanna shared the latest single from the album, If You Were Me. Something of a departure from the other tracks shared from the album, If You Were Me is an echoing, waltzing number, Deanna putting herself into the shoes of an emotionally abusive former partner, as she reflects, “I would not feel responsible for turning you into somebody who is terrified to lose me, no matter what I do, if you were me and I was you”. Particularly wonderful is the fuzzy-guitar line that takes the song towards its close, the track blooming as Deanna seems to find her voice, “I would not feel guilty, no matter what I do, if you were me and I was you”. The track follows up on previous singles, the energetic Metric-like indie-pop of Devastatingly Mediocre, and the dreamy Failing Upwards, as well as my personal favourite, the rambunctious Strokes-like-bop, I Don’t Want Get Over You. Taken at surface level, To Hell With You, I Love You, could almost be mistaken for a simple break-up record, yet it’s more than that, Deanna Petcoff scratches at the veneer and finds something fresh beneath. It’s not just a record regretting what was, it’s a celebration of what might be, a broken heart, mended and ready to do it all over again.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Deanna Petcoff?
I am a Toronto based artist who has been writing and recording music under my own name and solo project since 2018. I write songs about being a human, being a woman, being deeply emotional and confused and in love and out of it.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
I’ll never forget my first show. I was 15 and I was opening for Sheezer (an all female Weezer cover band) at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on Halloween. I was in an all female band and we dressed as men, in dress shirts, ties and bowler hats, with moustaches drawn on. As soon as we stepped off stage I was grabbed by a bouncer and carried out of the venue because I was under age, with my mom running after me elbowing people out of the way. I managed to sneak my way back in while my friend’s created a diversion and got to see Sheezer’s set after all. Sorry mom!
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Music is so deeply connected to my emotional makeup that I don’t think any other art form would satisfy me. I love dance and visual art but for some reason music is so cathartic for me, singing loudly and feeling the air in my body and the strength in my arms when I play guitar makes me feel the most present and in my body that I could ever feel. Especially when I’m able to synthesise the things I feel and turn them into something that I can present to other people.
FTR: What can people expect from the Deanna Petcofflive show?
The live show is raw, emotional and full of moments of me trying to figure out what to say in between the bursts of honesty that are my songs. We also may or may not throw in a crowd pleasing cover from one of my favourite female artists at any given time…
FTR: What’s next for Deanna Petcoff?
I’ll be joining Pillow Queens on their North American tour in March and April, and I’ll be releasing my debut album with Royal Mountain Records on April 8th, 2022. I couldn’t be more excited. After that I’ll be playing those songs to anyone who wants to feel their feelings, give me the privilege of their time, and wants to dance with me.
They Listen To…
Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass – This Guy’s In Love With You
This is one of my favourite songs of all time. The sincerity and vulnerability of his voice and the lyrics make me feel so much. I love that you can tell how much he adores her and all of the sounds and instruments around him swell in a way that makes me think that’s what his heart sounds like.
Hers – She Needs Him
This band was one of my top listened to in 2021 because I feel like this vibe is exactly what I needed when everything was falling to shit. Surging through the pandemic, I wanted this almost 80s revival of moody apathetic music and a soundtrack to my lockdowns.
The Magnetic Fields – I Think I Need A New Heart
I take so much inspiration from The Magnetic Fields when I’m writing lyrics. They are so straightforward and blunt, so deeply emotional and yet uncomplicated. The bridge of this song makes me want to be a better writer.
Weaves – Coo Coo
This song was the anthem to my life as a 20 year old woman living in a city with my friends. We used to listen to this song in the car on the way to shows or while we were getting ready for a night out, and sing at the top of our lungs. None of us could get Jasmyn’s voice quite right, but boy did we try.
Sorry – Starstruck
This song makes me feel like a badass. I used to go on walks during lockdown every day, and listen to this song just to feel like I was on my way to fuck shit up even if I was just walking in circles around my block.