Sonic Anesthesia for Urban Malaise: Beach Fossils
Beach Fossils are a classic indie rock tale that's been told ad nauseum in reviews over the past year--'Just one guy (one Dustin Payseur) making lo-fi bedroom recordings of pop songs he wrote on guitar while dreaming of beach vacations so far away from the mundanity of day-to-day life...' and one year, three more band members, a few tours, and countless blog posts later, a critically-acclaimed self-titled LP comes out on Captured Tracks. The album tells a classic New York tale as well: moving to the city from some rural pocket of America, (for every American town is rural compared to New York), ambitions for a fresh start mingling with nostalgia for your former home. Parallels to Ivan Goncharov's Same Old Story aside, it's a tale of escaping New York while still living in it; whether being a shut-in and not wanting to leave your apartment or "getting on that bus" and skipping town for a bit.
Its 34 minutes of drowsy, drowned-in-reverb escapism are the perfect anesthetic to soothe anxieties about idleness and uncertainty in a world where there are a million things to do, as if this whole fuzzed-out beach pop aesthetic was created in response to unemployment. "All we have to do is nothing at all" Payseur sings on one romantic lullaby, above jangle-pop inspired guitar parts weave together an ornately embroidered sound. Teamed with Payseur's simple vocal melodies and the thick clouds of reverb around them, the whole album's sonic indolence is true to the sadness and numbed insecurities in the lyrics, but belies the bands' live energy. They teeter around frenetically onstage like wind-up toys and, with the help of louder bass, turn tracks like "Twelve Roses" and "Vacation" into temporary dance anthems. In fact, at a recent "secret show" at Brooklyn DIY venue Death By Audio, people were 'moshing' and crowdsurfing, including the band. (photos here) Catch them on tour yourself this summer around the U.S.