On Soulful New Single, Beck Pete Gently Breaks Out

by guest contributor Dana Silverman

We can safely call summer complete now that one of the season’s best songs has arrived. With touches of rock and roll, blues, soul, and a dash of the fuck you Riot Grrrl spirit of the 1990s, Beck Pete’s “Gently Break It” introduces an exciting new musical voice.

A one-note intro riff and driving beat backbone inspire the Riot Grrrl comparison, as they harken back to a minimalist era of where an aggressive guitar and a powerful voice were all you needed to set the tone for a track, and often transcended the music itself. That’s not to say the music is one-dimensional; it’s anything but, as layers of sound unfold to keep the ears pleasantly surprised. Joe Laporta and Ryan Gilligan’s production work is top-notch. Every element–from the lurking bass to the varying guitar tones that extend the range and depth of the song–has a distinct presence and moves the song forward without overpowering other components.

Beck Pete’s singing deserves special mention. The L.A. songstress opens with the sultry whisper of a modern incarnation of Peggy Lee, but when she begins to belt in the chorus, all comparisons fall short. Here, we’re in the presence of a dynamic singer who can sell a song through mood and emotion, but can also take a track to new heights with vocal talent. Listen a few times to Beck Pete’s angelic harmonies and you’ll be convinced she’s the new priestess of blues, rock and roll, or whatever genres she decides to tackle next.

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