Song Reviews

Beach Fossils Mature in “This Year”

Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils are back this year with a new song called…well, “This Year”. It’s the first single off their forthcoming LP Somersault, due out June 2. And it reveals a new direction for the band, now with a refined and more mature sound.

“This Year” has a deeper level of production, assimilating string arrangements and a jangle pop sound that in the past has always been more a flirtation than an incorporation.

It is a laid back tune. But that’s not saying much, when you talk about a band like Beach Fossils. Their sound is and always has been fundamentally laid back.

A perfect example is one of the standouts off 2013’s Clash The Truth: “Sleep Apnea”.

Even a more bold track like self titled Clash the Truth opener has elements easily dubbed as laid back. But the sound then versus the sound now finds the modern has progressed and matured greatly. Believe it or not, the vocals too are even more mellow than before.

It’s also a departure from the label Beach Fossils have called home pretty much since their beginning. Rather than Captured Tracks, you’ll find Somersault released via Bayonet Records where you can preorder the album today.

Bayonet Records is the new label helmed by Kate Garcia and Beach Fossils’ own Dustin Payseur.

Within Somersault, you’ll hear precisely what I’m talking about above: change.

About the album, the bio on their website states:

While Payseur handled the bulk of the songwriting duties in the past, Somersault is a true collaboration between the founding member and bandmates, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson. The new songs speak to a more fluid, eclectic sound, filled with lush compositions formed by studio experiments and sampling of the band’s own recordings.

Quite honestly, I’m a bit shocked at this new sound. In a very pleased way. And I’m very excited to check out more from Somersault as we head toward its release on June 2.

Don’t get me wrong; I love their old sound, but it was very much recognizable as that of a band on Captured Tracks. “Youth”, for example, had those meandering slightly jangly guitars while the vocals were masked in a light reverb-y haze.

Then: angular guitars with punchy percussion.

That was off their 2010 debut. It continued in 2011 on “What A Pleasure”, off their EP of the same name. This time, the vocal reverb was dialed back and those pointed guitar riffs turned up slightly:

So, return to the top and compare these two to “This Year” and it’ll be pretty damn blatant and the change Beach Fossils have undergone, staking out their own claim and crafting a sound for which they alone are responsible.

That is something to be excited about.

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