Petite League’s sixth album scores a home run

Petite League is a New York-based alternative indie band that, according to their website, originated in their house-venue called “Scarier Dome” in Syracuse, NY. There, the group hosted shows, started a screen printing business and learned what goes into being a self-made band.

Lorenzo Gillis Cook is the front man, founder and songwriter of Petite League, but the group also consists of drummer Henry Schoonmaker and live-performance members Adam Greenberg and Kevin McCallum.

“When you’re 19 and just want to make scrappy guitar music, the barrier of entry is pretty low, so I just went for it,” Cook said in an interview with The Ramapo News. “I think I had a lot of pent-up energy that hadn’t found an avenue yet so, when things started with Petite League, it all just poured out of me.”

Cook has been performing music “for a majority of [his] life at this point.” He started playing music around 2007 when he was in eighth grade. “I’m one of the lucky ones who was never all that good at anything else,” he said.

When asked, Cook said his least favorite part of performing live is forgetting lyrics, though his “favorite part of touring is getting up every day with the expectation of something entirely different happening than the day before.” He said, “Even if we’re just driving or whatever, we’re on the road to somewhere new and that feels really good.” Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Gillis Cook

Petite League released their sixth album “THRILL SEEKERS” on Oct. 21. The album followed four singles that were united into an EP titled, “Nite Stairs.”

The first single that was released is called “Floating Blue,” an up-beat beachy title that set the tone for the rest of the songs that followed. The song is about reminiscing fondly on the past and knowing that your life isn’t the same as it used to be because you’re grown. It says that you’re allowed to miss the past but it’s important to reconcile with the fact that you can’t go back.

This theme is also seen in the song “Vacation Torture” with hazy vocals and strikingly-crafted lyrics, like “I’m alone in my bed with these faded freckle memories instead,” and “I could pretend I never think about you anymore / but it’s overly saturated, highly defined, crystal clear.” This message continues into songs like “New York 2002” and “Pantone Karaoke.”

Throughout this album, the idea of becoming overwhelmed by life and not knowing how to deal with it is a common theme. One of my favorite lyrics is from the song “Sleeptalker” that concerns this motif: “I was overcome, too much to fix before a setting sun.” This line covers the idea that there is not enough time in the day to solve every problem that falls into your lap, and this can be hard to accept. This point is also present in the song “Mets” where the line “I was overcome” is repeated after each verse over hopeful-sounding, steady guitar music.

“Nite Stairs” and “Patience (ft. Sorry Mom)” are just two of this album’s brilliantly dynamic love songs. “Hurricane Shimmy” is another that has moving lyrics like “I’d make a home in the airport / The Ghost of Terminal 3 / Haunt ’round and ’round/ till you touch down / till you come back to me.”

The album closes with a song titled “Disarray” and it sums up this collection of songs neatly with its closing lyrics “let’s embrace the disarray.” These lyrics underscore the overarching message that everything is always changing, and sometimes life isn’t perfect, but we need to learn to accept all the moving parts.

In an Instagram post on Oct. 20, Cook reflected on what he thought the album was about. “Looking at it now, I think it’s about appreciating whatever makes your heart beat, growing through your tears of joy and accepting change by going head-on into it while also never forgetting what keeps you grounded in the first place.”

“[The album] was a much more collaborative effort this time around with a bunch of people involved in the music and art behind it so I’m also excited to be able to share the experience a little more than usual,” Cook said.

I think this is definitely one of Petite League’s best albums. As a long-time fan, I can definitely tell how Cook has grown as a songwriter and become more comfortable with doing what makes him happy.

This album is particularly profound for me because it makes me feel nostalgic for lives I’ve never lived and experiences I’ve never had. All of these songs are glimpses into very specific memories that I somehow feel like I’m a part of through the music, despite knowing I’ve never been there.

“I like each one for different reasons and I think that’s why they all made the album in the end,” Cook said when asked if he had a favorite song on the album, and I would definitely have to agree. This album is “All killer, no filler.”


5/5 stars

Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Gillis Cook.