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 (two years ago) link

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

Karl Malone, Friday, 31 August 2018 22:25 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

They remind me of Charli Bliss

nostormo, Saturday, 1 September 2018 16:42 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

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

monotony, Monday, 3 September 2018 06:17 (two years ago) link

when can we poll this album

alpine static, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 18:19 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

Great album!

DJI, Thursday, 6 September 2018 00:09 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

^ yep

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:11 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

What part of what Beths song sounds like Weezer??

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 6 September 2018 04:35 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

this is really so excellent

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

man this rules

call all destroyer, Thursday, 6 September 2018 23:08 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

is the inspection over

Karl Malone, Sunday, 9 September 2018 16:06 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

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

flopson, Monday, 10 September 2018 16:43 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

album rules and i think it's a bit better than the debut, adding some melancholy jangles to their sound goes a long way

ufo, Wednesday, 8 July 2020 12:12 (three months ago) link

I had tickets to a show they were supposed to play here in Cleveland back in April, and it got rescheduled for plague-related reasons to the end of September, so now it will be in support of all-new material. Which is nice!

Bougy! Bougie! Bougé! (Eliza D.), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 12:17 (three months ago) link

"Jump Rope Gazers", the song, is more directly evocative of Sheryl Crow than anything on the Haim album!

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 12:47 (three months ago) link

This album fuckin rules. Best summer ever! (For music, I mean...)

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 13:43 (three months ago) link

did it leaked

per aspera ad scampo (||||||||), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 13:49 (three months ago) link

I don't think so. People have been getting their vinyl copies shipped early.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 8 July 2020 14:13 (three months ago) link

it leaked

ufo, Wednesday, 8 July 2020 14:13 (three months ago) link

yeah it's out there

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 14:28 (three months ago) link

Oh right, cool. I'm excited to see more reactions in the next few days. Hopefully the reviews are positive too. I'm still so surprised at how much critics slept on the debut.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 8 July 2020 14:37 (three months ago) link

It's doing ok so far:

https://www.metacritic.com/music/jump-rope-gazers/the-beths

chonky floof (groovypanda), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 14:49 (three months ago) link

The energy, the tightness, the power pop..almost all gone:(
Disappointing on first listen.

nostormo, Wednesday, 8 July 2020 15:52 (three months ago) link

I don't think that's true really, there's plenty of pep on about half the songs (the first two singles + "Acrid", "Don't Go Away", "Mars"), with the other half various shades of wistful

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 15:56 (three months ago) link

Yeah i liked the singles, that's why it's kind of a letdown for me.

Will give it more chances though, because she sure knows how to write melodies ao it might be a grower.

nostormo, Wednesday, 8 July 2020 16:00 (three months ago) link

her vocals are really strong and polished now too, to the extent I could even see it turning off people who prefer the band scrappier

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 8 July 2020 16:03 (three months ago) link

I really can see why people might be disappointed with the album initially as it is quite a change of pace for them with half the album being much gentler, but after a few listens it really hit me. Hoping that's the case for most people. The songwriting is still just crazy strong.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 8 July 2020 19:14 (three months ago) link

my only beef rn is the closer seems a little slight

is it just my files or is the mastering remarkably quiet?

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Thursday, 9 July 2020 11:50 (three months ago) link

it's noticeably quiet, yeah, but it doesn't appear to be any quieter than the previously released tracks or anything so i think that's just how it is, not any issue with the leak.

ufo, Thursday, 9 July 2020 12:00 (three months ago) link

yeah, just an observation. it's neat! crank er up.

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Thursday, 9 July 2020 12:01 (three months ago) link

when are crying putting a new album out is what I want to know

per aspera ad scampo (||||||||), Thursday, 9 July 2020 12:36 (three months ago) link

Title track has the perfect sad ballad melody

nostormo, Thursday, 9 July 2020 18:32 (three months ago) link

i'm curious to hear these more sad/melancholy songs! i've only heard the singles so far

Karl Malone, Thursday, 9 July 2020 18:34 (three months ago) link

oh my god the title track

josh az (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 9 July 2020 18:42 (three months ago) link

it is deliriously good

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Thursday, 9 July 2020 18:59 (three months ago) link

Should be a radio hit. Getting close to kitsch but not crossing the line thankfully.

nostormo, Thursday, 9 July 2020 19:11 (three months ago) link

In 1996, sure. I'm not sure I hear that song on the radio in 2020.

I do love the title track though... it's been stuck in my head today.

enochroot, Thursday, 9 July 2020 20:44 (three months ago) link

FINAL "home" youtube show in 49 minutes!

maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 9 July 2020 21:11 (three months ago) link

*"house"

*48

maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 9 July 2020 21:12 (three months ago) link

Entertaining fun - wish they did 'Out Of Sight.' Good on them for putting out a fine rekkid.

BlackIronPrison, Thursday, 9 July 2020 23:25 (three months ago) link

the album art is so upsetting

||||||||, Friday, 10 July 2020 07:29 (three months ago) link

God, for some reason that aaba aaab panel cracked me UP

Karl Malone, Friday, 10 July 2020 07:39 (three months ago) link

oh damn, this is out today?

ACABincalifornia (voodoo chili), Friday, 10 July 2020 19:13 (three months ago) link

The release show at the Powerstation last night was p.fun, though a bit nerve-wracking to be in such a tightly-packed crowd for the first time since lockdown. Title track of the new album worked really well live, "I'm Not Getting Excited" was a great set-opener, and for "Dying To Believe" they dragged out Rose Matafeo and local Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick. Opener Phoebe Rings was a jazz-school-y take on Stereolab/Cocteau Twins, and had the Beths' bassist Ben guest on clarinet for a track.

They were on Radio New Zealand's mixtape yesterday; hour-long show w/some interesting digressions.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/nat-music/audio/2018754435/the-mixtape-the-beths

Che Fu - "Misty Frequencies"
Ella Fitzgerald / Oscar Peterson - "Lush Life"
Death Cab For Cutie - "The Sound of Settling"
Anthonie Tonnon - "Water Underground"
Chelsea Jade - "Lowbrow"
Lomelda - "Interstate Vision"

etc, Sunday, 12 July 2020 03:21 (three months ago) link

At long last i figured it out: Title track sounds like Camera Obscura

nostormo, Monday, 13 July 2020 16:44 (three months ago) link

Something is missing :(

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 17 July 2020 23:28 (three months ago) link

I'm sad to see a fairly muted reaction to the new album in general but I had a feeling it was coming. It hasn't hit me the same way Future Me Hates Me did but that album is absolutely perfect. I still have a lot of love for this.

kitchen person, Saturday, 18 July 2020 01:04 (three months ago) link

I think I like 'em about the same in different ways. They have surprisingly distinct ~vibes~

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Saturday, 18 July 2020 02:07 (three months ago) link

yeah they're about equal for me with the new one having higher highs but is maybe a little less consistent

ufo, Saturday, 18 July 2020 02:13 (three months ago) link

Future Me Hates Me is definitely the better record but I do love the new one a lot, even if it feels like it suffers from awkward-second-album-syndrome at times

josh az (2011nostalgia), Saturday, 18 July 2020 06:07 (three months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_5uVLoiTVk

ufo, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 05:07 (three months ago) link

nice!

i've listened to the new one several times, and although i do think the debut was more consistent, there are still 4-5 songs on jump rope gazers that i like a bunch, and that's about on par with the debut as well. i think they're good at picking singles! but there are a couple others i also really like.

dying to believe
i'm not getting excited
mars, the god of war
out of sight
jump rope gazers

do you want me now
just shy of sure

you are a beam of light
acrid

don't go away

The GOAT Harold Land (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 06:49 (three months ago) link

Played at least 10 times now. All of this hits for me. It's so sweet.

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 11:38 (three months ago) link

album is nice, doesn’t sing to me quite like the first one. there’s a little bit less muscle in these tunes, and the pre-release tracks are far and away the highlights.

that said, ‘dying to believe’ is one of the best songs ive ever heard in my life.

mozzy star (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 13:03 (three months ago) link

I've been connecting with the mellower tracks on this album: the title track is the clear standout, but also "just shy of sure", "you are a beam of light", and "out of sight".
That live version of "out of sight" posted this morning is better than the album version -- the musicianship really comes through, and it's got a lot more energy. That drummer is such an asset.

enochroot, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 14:25 (three months ago) link

Same here. After initially thinking there were too many mellow songs on here, they've become my favourites. You Are A Beam Of Light is so beautiful.

kitchen person, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 14:29 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

Seeing these tonight. My first gig of the year

nate woolls, Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:23 (two weeks ago) link

Wow. Outdoors? Or indoors?

curmudgeon, Friday, 16 October 2020 15:31 (two weeks ago) link

jealous of you, but happy they're able to do a little touring. are you in Christchurch? xp

scampos sacra fames (outdoor_miner), Friday, 16 October 2020 15:55 (two weeks ago) link

Album still on heavy rotation

groovypanda, Friday, 16 October 2020 21:12 (two weeks ago) link

this album has become my go-to sulking-during-the-pandemic soundtrack. I love it and that pitchfork review is objectively wrong

josh az (2011nostalgia), Friday, 16 October 2020 22:35 (two weeks ago) link


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