The Beths

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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

Karl Malone, Friday, 31 August 2018 22:25 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

They remind me of Charli Bliss

nostormo, Saturday, 1 September 2018 16:42 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 2 September 2018 05:06 (three months ago) Permalink

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

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 2 September 2018 05:06 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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

monotony, Monday, 3 September 2018 06:17 (three months ago) Permalink

when can we poll this album

alpine static, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 18:19 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

Great album!

DJI, Thursday, 6 September 2018 00:09 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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

josh az (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 6 September 2018 03:54 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

^ yep

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:11 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

What part of what Beths song sounds like Weezer??

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:35 (three months ago) Permalink

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

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:41 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

this is really so excellent

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 6 September 2018 16:11 (three months ago) Permalink

man this rules

call all destroyer, Thursday, 6 September 2018 23:08 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

is the inspection over

Karl Malone, Sunday, 9 September 2018 16:06 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

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

flopson, Monday, 10 September 2018 16:43 (three months ago) Permalink

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 (three months ago) Permalink

They can be influenced by Weezer or by Justin Bieber for that matter. As long as they are good (and they are) who cares.

nostormo, Monday, 10 September 2018 18:11 (three months ago) Permalink

Just an aside: I just listened to two or three songs from the Charly Bliss album. This has nothing to do with it. What I heard did neither have the hooks nor the speed and variety of The Beths and I cannot get over the squeaky Minnie Mouse voice of the singer.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 10 September 2018 18:33 (three months ago) Permalink

Idea/Intent from the E.P. is the best song they wrote

nostormo, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:10 (three months ago) Permalink

Listening to this album over and over

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:14 (three months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

When I was about 20 I remember thinking that there were 3 things that gave me the same endorphin rush: crushes, drugs, and music.
Now that I'm in my 40's, the first 2 aren't happening any more, and music only gives me that buzz on increasingly rare occasions, but for whatever reason, this beths album does it for me.

They played live last night at a tiny place in Boston, and they definitely delivered the goods. It seems like the whole jazz-school background means that they're all solid musicians, so the live versions of the songs popped more than the studio versions. Also, there's something so primally pleasing about bands who can do 4-part harmonies.

Oh, and for whatever reason, they can't play River Run live.

enochroot, Thursday, 11 October 2018 12:22 (two months ago) Permalink

This is like the least challenging album ever recorded but it's really addictive. I dunno, sometimes, more occasionally than is claimed, when you've got the tunes that's really all that matters.

Interesting to hear they've got a jazz background though, it does SOUND much tighter and more muscular than records like this usually do. Like usually you listen to a straightforward indie rock record and it feels like aesthetic decisions had been made because the band weren't capable of doing much more, or couldn't think of anything else to do. Here, it feels like they've arranged things this way because that's what the song NEEDS.

Matt DC, Thursday, 11 October 2018 12:28 (two months ago) Permalink

"Least challenging" might actually be the key here (i.e. has anyone ever experienced that endorphin rush feeling from listening to Stockhausen?)

enochroot, Thursday, 11 October 2018 14:13 (two months ago) Permalink

Life is challenging enough sometimes, it's okay to just be a fun, well written and performed pop rock record

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 11 October 2018 16:52 (two months ago) Permalink

Absolutely what can you have against great music if your only critic is that it is unchallenging? What does that mean anyways? I find the whole concept that challenging music is good music which is somehow implied in the reasoning pretty dubious. There is so much crap challenging music out there. Let it challenge someone else, not me.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 11 October 2018 17:35 (two months ago) Permalink

fwiw if you read matt dc's post he likes the album a lot, and he doesn't argue that music needs to be challenging.

1-800-CALL-ATT (Karl Malone), Thursday, 11 October 2018 17:38 (two months ago) Permalink

(i.e. has anyone ever experienced that endorphin rush feeling from listening to Stockhausen?)

Yes.

Zach Same (Tom D.), Thursday, 11 October 2018 17:38 (two months ago) Permalink

Was just about to post the same thing! Kreuzspiel, Mikrophonie II, Kontakte - absolutely.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Thursday, 11 October 2018 17:41 (two months ago) Permalink

I love this album, though.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Thursday, 11 October 2018 17:42 (two months ago) Permalink

(i.e. has anyone ever experienced that endorphin rush feeling from listening to Stockhausen?)

Yes.

― Zach Same (Tom D.), Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:38 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I knew someone was going to post this, and ILM, you did not disappoint.

enochroot, Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:06 (two months ago) Permalink

fwiw, 2 of the 4 people on the current tour were not part of the "all 4 have jazz-school backgrounds" group that made the record.

maybe those 2 went to jazz school, i don't know. just pointing it out.

alpine static, Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:39 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah, good point. in that interview katherine posted upthread they mentioned that they used a different drummer on various parts of the tour (a good thing, i think, based off of their videos) and that the bass player was also not a permanent member.

1-800-CALL-ATT (Karl Malone), Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:44 (two months ago) Permalink

i went to jazz school on the streets

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 11 October 2018 20:34 (two months ago) Permalink

These guys came on Spotify shuffle today at work and I was loving it. This thread bump has reminded me to get the album.

Ctrl+Alt+Del in Poughkeepsie (fionnland), Thursday, 11 October 2018 20:39 (two months ago) Permalink

Decent enough rocking guitar pop

curmudgeon, Sunday, 14 October 2018 20:26 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I’ve slowly come to realize that Whatever is the best thing here. It’s just one incredible hook after another

josh az (2011nostalgia), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:09 (one month ago) Permalink

I think "You Wouldn't Like Me" is my favourite but that's up there.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:37 (one month ago) Permalink

At their show, they did play "Whatever" with an air of "well here's the one you've probably all been waiting for..."
Also, it's the only song from their EP that they decided to keep on the album. So I think they might agree with you.

enochroot, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 17:00 (one month ago) Permalink

i have grown to like the backup vox on much of the album, but i still can't stomach them on 'whatever'. i have tried many times, but at this point i just play the album through happy unhappy, then either switch to something else or play "less than thou" as the closer

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 17:59 (one month ago) Permalink

i also skip "you wouldn't like me" most of the time

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 18:00 (one month ago) Permalink

this band owns live

||||||||, Wednesday, 7 November 2018 22:57 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm seeing them Sunday. super excited!

alpine static, Thursday, 8 November 2018 03:37 (one month ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

oh hey they're playing here in February.

their version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" somehow redeems that old croaker, with the help of strings and a ripping solo

resident hack (Simon H.), Tuesday, 4 December 2018 13:57 (one week ago) Permalink

Elizabeth Stokes is a really good singer. the chorus of "Happy Unhappy" is so warm, it actually makes you physically feel better to listen to it.

Karl Malone, Friday, 7 December 2018 19:02 (five days ago) Permalink

I had to force myself to have a break from this album as I didn't want to get burned out on it. I've been going back to it over the last couple of weeks and it's still sounding so amazing. Still can't get over that run of Not Running, Little Death and Happy Unhappy.

kitchen person, Saturday, 8 December 2018 21:31 (four days ago) Permalink

cosign on ALL of that

Karl Malone, Saturday, 8 December 2018 21:32 (four days ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.