Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Check out some sunny, buzzy, wistful pop from The Beths.

Photo by Mason Fairey

I think for the rest of the week I'm going to highlight songs or albums that are setting my mood on "summer."

I got a text from a friend yesterday asking if I'd heard of New Zealand band The Beths. I admitted I hadn't and then did a quick search through my email to discover I'd actually been sent their 2018 release Future Me Hates Me earlier this year ahead of a U.S. tour. And somehow I totally missed it, which has me kicking myself in the seat of my pants twice as hard since bands from New Zealand don't exactly hit Chicago all that regularly.*

In case you couldn't tell form the "kicking myself" aside, The Beths are pretty great, ergo my despair at missing their Chicago stop last March. Future Me Hates Me is an effortlessly buzzy collection whose music lifts you up even as the introspective lyrics pull you down. Singer Elizabeth Stokes has the kind of delivery that is world weary without being sad. Her delivery is understated and conversational, drifting along atop melodies I can only describe as melancholic rays of summer sunshine.

I shouldn't even say this since I tend to avoid the whole "so-and-so sounds like" or "RIYL" shorthand—outside of social media teasers where I'm trying to get someone to read a longer piece—but I'll just put this out there. Stokes' style of delivery is rather reminiscent of Courtney Barnett. I do not say this to diminish her talents or set them up for comparison. Instead I mention it because it's incredibly hard to make lyrics sophistication sound so effortless. So if that shorthand gets just a few more people to give the album a listen than I am happy to employ it.

*Luckily I, and quite possibly you, will get another chance to catch The Beths since they announced a summer U.S. tour. It hits Chicago's Logan Square Arts Festival on June 30 (my birthday!).

No comments: