The Beths

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they're pretty new to me and just released their debut on carpark records, future me hates me, but i can't help but think they'll blow up at some point soon. they had the benefit of a pitchfork plug (that's where i first read about them). RIYL alvvays. the alvvays feel is always there because both bands are very skilled and concise in their playing with frontwomen that churn out hook after hook in their melodies. at other times the production and composition remind me a bit of the weezer blue album. i guess they're all jazz school friends in new zealand. on the alvvays thread i described them as "tightly composed hook-filled upbeat", and i still think that's right.

it makes me shake my fist to think that old turds like the foo fighters are STILL like the flagship main rock band or whatever (and U2?) when there are albums like this out there, which is kind of ironic because parts of the beths record remind me of the colour and the shape. but these songs are poppy as hell. almost half of the album (great no one, future me hates me, not running, little death, happy unhappy) could plausibly be a pop smash in any world containing justice. the chorus of the title track is always in my head. almost every song has a sequence that is just relentlessly catchy.

even with the songs that i don't like as much, i could imagine that the things that i don't like about them would really appeal to a lot of other people. for example, the enthusiastically positive backup vocals in "whatever" completely ruin the song for me. take them out, and it would sound like a really good posies song, i think. but that positivity would also make it a hit car commercial song or whatever. similarly, although i think the entire vocal approach (also backup heavy) on the closing "less than thou" is not good and doesn't really keep up with the more aggressive pace of the music, it also is reminiscent of fleetwood mac for some reason and i won't rule out coming around to it at some point.

i'm focusing too much on the songs i don't like as much, but the highlights of the album are constantly stuck in my head. i've shared their music with a few friends and they've had the same experience. only $14.99. buy now! (i don't know how much it costs)

it's hard to get my ass out of the house on most days but i would logroll my way to see them if they pass through here

Karl Malone, Friday, 31 August 2018 22:14 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQYhM48H5zs

Karl Malone, Friday, 31 August 2018 22:25 (one year ago) link

Yeah, this album feels like an instant classic. There's a lot of things to love here, but I think it really comes down to the harmonies/backing vocals which are just incredible. I really hope people get behind them.

kitchen person, Saturday, 1 September 2018 02:45 (one year ago) link

They remind me of Charli Bliss

nostormo, Saturday, 1 September 2018 16:42 (one year ago) link

Pfork compared them to the Courtneys (which is what brought me to the album), but that was a misdirect IMO.

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Saturday, 1 September 2018 16:51 (one year ago) link

I haven't bought it yet but, as I said on the Alvvays thread, I find it really enjoyable. The vocals are v pleasant.

The inexorable rise of identity condiments (Sund4r), Saturday, 1 September 2018 17:05 (one year ago) link

They remind me of Charli Bliss

― nostormo

Yeah, I mentioned they could be this year's Charly Bliss on another thread. I also think there are moments that are a bit Courtney Barnett.

kitchen person, Saturday, 1 September 2018 18:39 (one year ago) link

yeah this is great, one of those albums that isn't doing anything new but just has great songs and an infectious quality

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 September 2018 21:09 (one year ago) link

I would like to defend the backing vox on "Whatever." I think they rule.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 2 September 2018 05:06 (one year ago) link

Also, "Not Running" is, despite its name, a fantastic song to run to.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 2 September 2018 05:06 (one year ago) link

Little Death is incredible

the EP preceding the album is excellent, too, in case anyone missed it

alpine static, Sunday, 2 September 2018 17:45 (one year ago) link

a little more jangle-y than charly bliss but the comparison definitely makes sense. this is about as good as this sort of music gets, i love it. every track is so densely packed with hooks

ufo, Monday, 3 September 2018 04:51 (one year ago) link

i see that they are playing at yah yahs this saturday night for $10!

monotony, Monday, 3 September 2018 06:17 (one year ago) link

when can we poll this album

alpine static, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 18:19 (one year ago) link

this album is awesome btw, kitchen person otm about the harmonies

guardians of the gums: i am tooth (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 4 September 2018 18:26 (one year ago) link

Little Death is incredible

― alpine static, Sunday, September 2, 2018 10:45 AM (three days ago)

addendum: Not Running -> Little Death -> Happy Unhappy is absolutely mind-melting.

this album is my new obsession

alpine static, Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:18 (one year ago) link

Great album!

DJI, Thursday, 6 September 2018 00:09 (one year ago) link

addendum: Not Running -> Little Death -> Happy Unhappy is absolutely mind-melting.

― alpine static

Totally agree. The first few songs are great, but this run is when the album goes to the next level.

Album of the year for me now.

kitchen person, Thursday, 6 September 2018 02:47 (one year ago) link

i love that sequence too

it's really only "you wouldn't like me" that interrupts the flow of the first 7 songs, but otherwise it's just one great song after another

Karl Malone, Thursday, 6 September 2018 02:51 (one year ago) link

Not totally similar but close enough that I would suggest that if you like this record you should check out the Luby Sparks record.

DJI, Thursday, 6 September 2018 03:45 (one year ago) link

Reading this thread I had a feeling I'd love this band (probably because anything compared to Charly Bliss immediately catches my eye), and yup, I love it a ton. From front to back, great record. It's not as good as Guppy, but it does offer similar pop punk-styled thrills. Personally, it's all about the opening of Great No One for me. I just remember hearing that guitar riff and vocal melody and thinking to myself "shit, I'm doomed to listen to this record every day for the rest of the month, aren't i?"

The harmonies on Whatever are fine imo, but the "whoa-a-oh-a-oh" and "oo-OO-oo-OO-ooooo" harmonies on Happy Unhappy and Uptown Girl, respectively, don't sound very good? They're just way too cutesy and on-the-nose for me. Which is a shame because they're excellent songs otherwise.

josh az (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 6 September 2018 03:53 (one year ago) link

but yeah, this is definitely making my top 10 in the ilx 77 poll

josh az (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 6 September 2018 03:54 (one year ago) link

this is pretty nice but I don't hear the Charly Bliss comparison at all, the energy levels are totally different

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Thursday, 6 September 2018 03:55 (one year ago) link

Yeah, I can’t figure out what I think of the harmonies. On some songs I think they’re fine and on others I just want them to go away. I think I just get fatigued with them after a while, so my tolerance for them depends on whether or not I’m skipping around or listening to the album all the way through.

I woke up with the chorus of the title track in my head several days in a row last week. Very catchy song but kind of becoming a living nightmare. You’re killing me, Beths!

Karl Malone, Thursday, 6 September 2018 03:57 (one year ago) link

there's a dry boredom conveyed by liz stokes' singing that i think contrasts quite strongly with the singer of charly bliss, who i think doesn't sound that different to carly rae jepsen at her most saccharine.

monotony, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:07 (one year ago) link

this is pretty nice but I don't hear the Charly Bliss comparison at all, the energy levels are totally different

That's my impression too. I said something similar in another thread, but Charly Bliss is an uninhibited joy bomb while The Beths feel a bit more studied and controlled—not bad qualities, but very much not what Charly Bliss is doing.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:09 (one year ago) link

closer cousins for me are the aforementioned Alvvays, Best Coast, or even Standard Fare. anyway this is a great record!

monotony, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:10 (one year ago) link

^ yep

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:11 (one year ago) link

they both have a power pop sound reminiscent of the blue album but better, though they go in different directions with it

ufo, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:19 (one year ago) link

What part of what Beths song sounds like Weezer??

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:35 (one year ago) link

while we're throwing out people we hear I mostly hear Tuscadero

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:41 (one year ago) link

What part of what Beths song sounds like Weezer??

― Johnny Fever

The chorus of River Run Lvl 1 is probably the closest they come to Weezer.

kitchen person, Thursday, 6 September 2018 05:16 (one year ago) link

i didn't really get the Charly Bliss comparison either, other than they're both pop-rock bands. vocals are far too different.

i can't quite nail down who i think they sound like except it's hard to get away from Courtney Barnett because of the accents.

alpine static, Thursday, 6 September 2018 06:16 (one year ago) link

this is really so excellent

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 6 September 2018 16:11 (one year ago) link

man this rules

call all destroyer, Thursday, 6 September 2018 23:08 (one year ago) link

wow, they're playing a *tiny* room near where some of my friends live in oct. i think i will go.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 6 September 2018 23:11 (one year ago) link

Little Death is perfect.
I wish the rest of the album was more edgy and little less power ppp like this track.

nostormo, Friday, 7 September 2018 11:39 (one year ago) link

What part of what Beths song sounds like Weezer??

I am surprised about this question. The Weezer blue album vibe is all over this album. When Little Death gets going when the guitars kick in how can you not hear the innocent, energetic power pop of Weezer? The same goes for the first song. Even the way she sings, her vocal line in Great No One reminds me of River Cuomo. Future Me Hates Me also has got the Weezer feel when the guitar accelerates. It is probably a little simplified but in a way The Beths are like Weezer reborn 24 years later on the other side of the planet with a female singer. Whenever a song gets louder the guitar sounds like Weezer.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 7 September 2018 20:21 (one year ago) link

This album reminds me of a lot of 90's power-pop that I had forgotten about, but loved dearly at the time: Velocity Girl, Jason Faulkner, Brendan Benson.

Thanks, Karl, for the heads-up on this band (I saw your post about them on the alvvays thread). They're playing a tiny room in my town too... either they booked this tour before they had any sort of traction at all, or no one besides the people on this thread are listening to them.

enochroot, Sunday, 9 September 2018 12:43 (one year ago) link

Also, this is totally OTM:


The harmonies on Whatever are fine imo, but the "whoa-a-oh-a-oh" and "oo-OO-oo-OO-ooooo" harmonies on Happy Unhappy and Uptown Girl, respectively, don't sound very good? They're just way too cutesy and on-the-nose for me. Which is a shame because they're excellent songs otherwise.

― josh az (2011nostalgia), Wednesday, September 5, 2018 11:53 PM

(i still love the album though)

enochroot, Sunday, 9 September 2018 12:45 (one year ago) link

i thought of That Dog and went and reminded myself of Totally Crushed Out ... close-ish, not quite right, but my next step was going to be Velocity Girl

alpine static, Sunday, 9 September 2018 14:58 (one year ago) link

I'm not invested enough in this band to play a long game of spot the inspiration, but if you're listening to "Little Death" and the strongest comparison you can make is Weezer, then that's what you *want to* be hearing. It's not there.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 9 September 2018 15:06 (one year ago) link

The chorus of River Run Lvl 1 is probably the closest they come to Weezer.

This checks out.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 9 September 2018 15:10 (one year ago) link

is the inspection over

Karl Malone, Sunday, 9 September 2018 16:06 (one year ago) link

xposts enochroot

jealous of the small room opportunity! they played a relatively small venue here (empty bottle) but it was just before i started listening to them.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 9 September 2018 16:09 (one year ago) link

but if you're listening to "Little Death" and the strongest comparison you can make is Weezer, then that's what you *want to* be hearing. It's not there.

Let's get the semantics right here. If you do not hear it, it doesn't mean it's not there. Karl hears Weezer in this, the first band my girl-friend came up with was Weezer when she listened to The Beths the first time and I had exactly the same reaction. Again the power dynamics e.g. in "Little Death" and "My Name Is Jonas" are very similar, a slow acoustic tuneful guitar start and then a heavier, louder and faster guitar part which makes the song explode. Vaguely spoken these two songs kick ass like the few good power pop songs do. Btw I like both Weezer and The Beths quite a lot.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 10 September 2018 05:11 (one year ago) link

This always happens me when I try to point out to my wife people who look like other people: she never sees it, because I think she's expecting to see an exact clone, rather than a few shared characteristics.
A band's output is similarly complex, nuanced, and unique, so seeing the similarities really depends on how much you're willing to squint and ignore the details.

btw, i'm rapidly zero-ing in on "Not Running" as my favorite track on the album.

enochroot, Monday, 10 September 2018 15:16 (one year ago) link

for what it's worth they do say they were going for weezer

https://www.undertheradar.co.nz/news/14777/Interview-The-Beths-Talk-About-Their-Debut-Album-Future-Me-Hates-Me.utr

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Monday, 10 September 2018 15:53 (one year ago) link

that’s just what they *want* to be hearing

flopson, Monday, 10 September 2018 16:43 (one year ago) link

This was a weird thread detour. If other people hear it and the band says they intended it, fine. They're doing a Weezer thing.

I still barely hear it, but also I'm not deeply taken with this album anyway (it's fine). Enjoy!

Johnny Fever, Monday, 10 September 2018 16:46 (one year ago) link

while we're throwing out people we hear I mostly hear Tuscadero

Belated OTM! Certainly in that vein.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 28 February 2019 16:51 (one year ago) link

I'm so sad I was out of town when they played here :( :(

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Thursday, 28 February 2019 16:51 (one year ago) link

I'm going to see them tonight! Just realized they are not actually the headliners, rather it's a band i've never heard of called Bad Bad Hats.

enochroot, Thursday, 28 February 2019 19:28 (one year ago) link

They recently opened a 3-week long tour I was part of and I'm delighted to report that they are the nicest, weirdest, coolest people on earth. I watched every bit of their set almost every night.

Davey D, Thursday, 28 February 2019 20:53 (one year ago) link

pulled out of their Smith Street Band national tour support slot (xpost with Weinstein thread)

steven, soda jerk (sic), Thursday, 28 February 2019 20:58 (one year ago) link

Turns out they were actually headlining the show (the venue just posted the sets in the wrong order).

They really are a tight live band. I thought they were better this time than the first time I saw them. The sound was better (vocals higher in the mix), and whatever drummer they brought on this tour is a monster. He's an order of magnitude better than he needs to be for this material -- it was like the Cloud Nothings lent the band their drummer for the night. They played almost all the songs from the Warm Blood EP, which sound much better live... the live version of Idea/Intent was awesome.

enochroot, Friday, 1 March 2019 18:37 (one year ago) link

saw them last night and they were awesome. im def gonna check em out again when they have more material. the drummer is so good--it's almost funny how chill and upright he seems when executing these ridiculous patterns and fills.

voodoo chili, Saturday, 2 March 2019 22:04 (one year ago) link

While it’s not math rock, the arrangements are intricate and there’s a lot of dynamics that warrant more than timekeeping

eva logorrhea (bendy), Sunday, 3 March 2019 00:55 (one year ago) link

i am so excited to see them tomorrow

vision joanna newsom (Stevie D(eux)), Sunday, 3 March 2019 03:48 (one year ago) link

Grrr, I have missed them twice live now. Next time

curmudgeon, Monday, 4 March 2019 13:02 (one year ago) link

Bought tickets for them a couple of months ago and missed the show. When will I finally learn I can't remember show dates.

Chris L, Monday, 4 March 2019 13:35 (one year ago) link

Didn't blow me away or anything last night, but they were pretty tight and charmingly dorky. Non-stop flashbacks to various basement concerts c. 1997 or so.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 March 2019 18:14 (one year ago) link

Bought tickets for them a couple of months ago and missed the show.

that's the kind of thing which i am afraid might happen to me. it hasn't yet, iirc...

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 7 March 2019 18:50 (one year ago) link

I once had tickets to James Brown and confused a 2 for a 7 and showed up a week late.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 March 2019 18:58 (one year ago) link

This album is freakin glorious. Can't think of another rock record that has affected me like this recently. "not running" gives me goosebumps

The immortal Hydra Viridisimma (outdoor_miner), Thursday, 7 March 2019 20:13 (one year ago) link

After my latest listen to the album I decided I wished they’d slowed the tempo down for a song or 2 to provide more variety ( but the current all rockin approach works too)

curmudgeon, Saturday, 9 March 2019 23:36 (one year ago) link

There's 3 or 4 songs with good quiet stretches... i would not change a damn thing about this record!

maffew12, Friday, 15 March 2019 02:18 (one year ago) link

I'm not going to go, but they're playing at my local barn/venue this summer.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 15 March 2019 02:25 (one year ago) link

why aren't you going to go

alpine static, Friday, 15 March 2019 07:01 (one year ago) link

This kind of music just doesn't do it for me. But I heard a track on college radio (which still plays mostly indie rock apparently!) and it sounded good, especially in comparison to the songs around it.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 15 March 2019 12:39 (one year ago) link

yesss they're touring the US and Canada again this summer, bless them

Simon H., Monday, 25 March 2019 19:51 (one year ago) link

and playing some new stuff, they say! here's hoping they don't Charly Bliss it up. (jk, jk)

alpine static, Monday, 25 March 2019 22:01 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Just picked up the Warm Blood EP which has been reissued on vinyl. I've never listened to it before so I'm really excited to have four new (to me) Beths songs in my life.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 16:41 (eleven months ago) link

kinda hoping "Rush Hour 3" reappears on their setlists for the summer tour

Simon H., Wednesday, 1 May 2019 16:55 (eleven months ago) link

I think "Rush Hour 3" was the only song from the Warm Blood EP which they didn't play when they came through town in February.

enochroot, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 17:27 (eleven months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Girl Friday are opening for them on this next tour and goddamn do they sound great

https://youtu.be/q2j4jD2kDA0

Simon H., Thursday, 23 May 2019 11:25 (ten months ago) link

two months pass...

Just saw them at the Independent with Girl Friday and Ariel View. Ariel View was incredibly tight and tried (with limited success) to get a San Francisco crowd to get a mosh pit going. Girl Friday was pretty good, but not really my cup of tea. The Beths were great. They played a couple new songs which sounded great, and all of their faves. I enjoyed the NZ-accented patter as well. Although I gotta say Ariel View has SO much energy that they kinda overshadowed the next two bands! Also, the level of normcore “fashion” happening on stage was out of control. My wife said it looked like the nineties threw up on the eighties.

DJI, Saturday, 27 July 2019 18:31 (eight months ago) link

I haven’t heard Ariel View! I will check them out

Karl Malone, Saturday, 27 July 2019 18:39 (eight months ago) link

I caught this tour in TO and the crowd got so unexpectedly rowdy. I'm staying in Vancouver rn and might actually catch them again!

Simon H., Saturday, 27 July 2019 18:54 (eight months ago) link

I saw this tour a few days ago ... Aerial View got an A for effort, but they were clearly a couple levels down from Girl Friday, who were a couple levels down from The Beths. Promising, though! Aerial View, I mean. They were fun, there was just a noticeable jump in quality/consistency/performance/everything from the first band to the second.

Girl Friday I was really impressed with. Cool sound, good presence.

The Beths, of course ... well, they're one of the best pop-rock bands going. They've got it all dialed in. The two new ones they played sounded awesome. (They must be so so so sick of playing those same dozen-ish songs they've been playing every night for the past 18 months.

alpine static, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 15:37 (eight months ago) link

My friend who went to that SF show also said Ariel View were great, but also made him feel old due to them looking pre-teen to him lol

Said they did a decent Strokes cover

octobeard, Thursday, 1 August 2019 04:39 (eight months ago) link

yeah, one of 'em legit looks like she's in middle school

alpine static, Thursday, 1 August 2019 06:47 (eight months ago) link

Ahhhh their Vancouver show tonight was amazing. The openers were good too.. give Arial Friday a few years and the right producer and I could picture them cranking out a good record

josh az (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 1 August 2019 07:14 (eight months ago) link

seven months pass...

Understandably, the band just announced their upcoming tour has been postponed. In happier news, they also said the second album is finished and they'll be in touch soon. I really needed that small bit of good news today.

kitchen person, Saturday, 21 March 2020 03:09 (two weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

new album Jump Rope Gazer out July 10

there's also this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxQOyV7mji0

ufo, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 03:25 (eighteen hours ago) link

nice! love that they start with the theme from animal crossing

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 05:10 (sixteen hours ago) link

a great version of "whatever" - i much prefer it to the version on the album, i think because i don't think the production on the album suits it

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 05:12 (sixteen hours ago) link

don't LIKE the production on the album version

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 05:13 (sixteen hours ago) link

oh my god this is EXACTLY the news I needed to hear today

josh az (2011nostalgia), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 06:37 (fifteen hours ago) link

new single owns

megan thee macallan 18 year (||||||||), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 10:01 (twelve hours ago) link

I'm way past the age where I get stoked for new releases, but I'm giddy about this one.

enochroot, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 12:30 (nine hours ago) link

oh my god "Dying to Believe" rules and is exactly what I needed this morning

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 13:14 (eight hours ago) link

Perfect new single. I love this band!

kitchen person, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 14:38 (seven hours ago) link

they did a little online thing from their house yesterday in case anyone cares that may've missed. it's of course charming af
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+beths&page=&utm_source=opensearch

medicate for all (outdoor_miner), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 14:54 (seven hours ago) link

god this is so good. their drummer is probably my favorite in the world.

fauci wally (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 16:11 (five hours ago) link

i think he might be their 3rd (4th?) drummer since the debut! but yeah, i always like their drumming. also lol at the drumkit evolving through that video

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 16:35 (five hours ago) link

i think it's the same guy who was in the band when i saw them last year--always so cool and deadpan in the upper body but such active hands.

fauci wally (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 17:02 (five hours ago) link

like the song
video is perfect for the guitarist who had major "1980s guitar instructional VHS tape" video vibes

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 8 April 2020 19:12 (two hours ago) link

Yeah, that drummer is a live powerhouse in a way that the recordings don't convey.

enochroot, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 19:25 (two hours ago) link


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