Sifting Through Garbage: The Pet Traits Story

by Kyle Johnson

Sifting Through Garbage: The Pet Traits Story by Kyle Johnson
I have an incredibly vivid memory of the first time I heard Bad Brains. It was the first punk rock I had ever heard. I was fourteen years old, and I’m twenty-one now, but I can still conjure the feeling of that moment. The music tore through me. I felt the sound more than I heard it. It was summer, and I was staying in on a beautiful day to listen to music that a youtube algorithm was recommending me – but I’m so grateful I did. It made something click in my brain, like a light in a dingy basement being flicked on for the first time. I felt completely at home in the break-neck speed and sheer volume of the music. If you know that record, the first Bad Brains record, it is insane sounding even by today’s standards. I left the first playthrough of hundreds a completely changed kid. The world looked and felt different. I was in on some kind of secret.

I would later learn, of course, that I was far from being the only person that had this exact revelation. Very far. But it felt so special to me. I’ve played in bands and written at least a couple hundred songs since that day. I started a band with my best friends (Bad Nostalgia, check us out) that’s still kicking to this day, and we’ve played countless shows. We made an album by ourselves. I have grown as a person and lived through trial and tribulation as we all have. But that first experience hearing punk rock music was my watershed moment.

It encapsulated everything I love about music, art, and life. It’s all lead to me starting Pet Traits. I wanted to capture that feeling of excitement and wonder and use it as a creative power-tool. I threw out a lot of what I knew about music: the conventions, the chase of perfection, the safe bet, for total creative liberation. This is how I did it.

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The Roller-Coaster of Naomi Ruth

by Ruth McKenna

The Roller-Coaster of Naomi Ruth by Ruth McKenna
I first found Naomi Ruth when I was 14. I’d built up the courage to take what my grandmother had taught me about guitar chords and fuse it with the inspiration of pop-divas and bluesy women, blended together with the help of my teenage brain to produce an emotive mess. Out of it all emerged a sound that was bluesy but somehow country, angsty but emotional, and despite the lo-fi quality and cringey lyrics, I somehow liked it a lot.

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Odd Woman Out

by Charley Young

Odd Woman Out by Charley Young
My name is Charley Young. I’m an indie synthpop artist based in NYC. I was born in San Diego, California, and grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I’ve always loved music and always knew I wanted to be a singer, but it took me a while to become confident enough to pursue my dreams. About five years ago, I decided it was time to stop being scared and go for it – Whether or not the timing was good, whether or not I was “ready.”

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