It’s been a slow and sleepy day morning here. What’s a better way to start your week with than this little band from New Zealand known as The Beths? The Beths are a virtuous group and they have an old adage memorized. Give a viewing to the visualizer for “Silence Is Golden” below
Today, The Beths announce their new album, Expert In A Dying Field, out September 16th on Carpark Records, and share the new single/video, “Silence Is Golden.” On Expert In A Dying Field,Elizabeth Stokes’ songwriting positions her somewhere between being a novelist and a documentarian. The songs collected here are autobiographical, but they’re also character sketches of relationships – platonic, familial, romantic – and more importantly, their aftermaths. The shapes and ghosts left in absences. The question that hangs in the air: what do you do with how intimately versed you’ve become in a person, once they’re gone from your life?
The third LP from the New Zealand quartet houses 12 jewels of tight, guitar-heavy songs that worm their way into your head, an incandescent collision of power-pop and skuzz. With Expert, The Beths wanted to make an album meant to be experienced live, for both the listeners and themselves. They wanted it to be fun — to hear, to play — in spite of the prickling anxiety throughout the lyrics, the fear of change and struggle to cope. Expert is an extension of the same sonic palette the band has built across their catalog, pop hooks embedded in incisive indie rock.
Most of Expert was recorded at guitarist Jonathan Pearce’s studio on Karangahape Road in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand) — and sometimes in the building’s cavernous stairwell at 1AM — toward the end of 2021, until they were interrupted by a four-month national lockdown. They traded notes remotely for months, songwriting from afar and fleshing out the arrangements alone, the first time they’d written together in such a way. The following February, The Beths left the country for the first time in more than two years to tour across the US, and simultaneously finish mixing the album on the road. That latter half felt more collaborative, with everyone on-hand to trade notes in real time, until it all culminated in a chaotic three-day studio mad-dash in Los Angeles. There, Expert finally became the record they were hearing in their heads.
The result is a capsule of The Beths’ most electrifying and exciting output, a sonic spectrum. “Silence is Golden,” with its propulsive drum line and stop-start staccato of a guitar line winding up and down, is one of the band’s sharpest and most driving. “The song is about stress and anxiety manifesting as an intolerance to noise,” says Stokes. “Where each new sound makes you more and more stressed.”