Deanna Petcoff 
To Hell With You, I Love You

Royal Mountain Records • 2022

On To Hell With You, I Love You, Deanna Petcoff captures the desperation of young love without trivializing it.

To Hell With You, I Love You by Toronto indie-rocker, Deanna Petcoff is an honest declaration of heartbreak and the anguish of coming of age. “Failing Upwards” establishes the playfulness of naivety and the pain of growing that theme the album: “I’m lost as a child can be, ‘cause I run around my neighbourhood hoping the answer will appear in front of me.” 

“Trash Bag” is a self-deprecating, self-advocating ode to trying your best and being flawed anyway. It reminds me of the classic millennial favourite “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus, turning that youthful angst into an anthem. “That’s What I Get” mellows out in that bittersweet spot at the top of a crash: “That’s what we get for never talking it through, that’s what we get for making one out of two.” 

Petcoff captures the desperation of young love without trivializing it. Taking on a crooning vocal tone in “I Don’t Wanna Wake Up”, Petcoff reflects on lost love: “I dream of the morning you lay with me, I watch you open your eyes and see the first bits of daylight painted against my wall.” “As Much As I Can” moves along in a bossanova-like groove, telling the story of love at first sight: “The first time I met you I said ‘God, is he real?’”

After reflecting on the magic moments, “Devastatingly Mediocre” picks up the pace with a driving rock beat, transitioning into the disillusionment phase: “why do I search all night for a chance to say your name […] I don’t want to love you anymore.” The song is a playlist-able summer night jam if I’ve ever heard one. “I Don’t Wanna Get Over You” alternates between a processed electronic drum beat and the live indie drum kit, hanging on the off-beats to create a sense of levity amid jangly electric guitar riffs and vocal harmonies. The effect is a poppy yet danceable bummer tune. 

Recalling that groove, “I Didn’t Lie” pulls in strings and piano, surrounding the lamenting vocals with romantic swells. The lyrics admit to falling out of love, promising that the once-relevant affection was genuine: “I am giving up the right to tell you what I need, and I’ll wonder all my life if I’m doing the right thing, I said I’d love you till I die, and I didn’t lie.” Leaning further into that surrender, “If You Were Me” muses about stepping into your partner’s shoes: “I would not feel responsible for turning you into somebody who was terrified to lose me.” The harsh reality sinks in around 2:25 when the drums get heavy and the distorted guitar takes over the once airy melody. 

“Sing With Me” is like a eulogy-meets-lullaby, soft and sweet yet piercing. The stripped-back song really showcases Petcoff’s vocal quality, paired with a moody acoustic piano. The song is about the subtle yet crucial difference between being beside someone and being with someone: “I just want you to sing with me, it could be about anything, I don’t need you to know how to dance, or even know how to romance, I just want you to sing with me.” Full of head-boppers and heart-swooners, To Hell With You, I Love You is the work of a convicted lover with nothing left to do but move on.

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