PQ presents the end-of-the-summer sounds of Beach Fossils in today’s New Music Monday.
Brooklyn-based Beach Fossils originally emerged in 2009 as the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Dustin Payseur; he initially (and rather pretentiously) cited Don Cherry, Ravi Shankar, Rumi, Lao-Tzu and Jean Cocteau as his primary influences for the project. After signing with the record label Captured Tracks and releasing their eponymous debut LP (praised as “the quintessential Brooklyn rooftop party soundtrack” by Martin Douglas of Pitchfork), Payseur assembled a full band and embarked on a grueling national tour. During the tour, the band became scattered with many line-up changes — including twelve different drummers and three different guitarists — but Payseur and bassist John Peña still found the time and gumption to craft the EP What a Pleasure on the road.
BBC music reviewer Chris Power sums up the reasons that Beach Fossils make an ideal three-day-weekend soundtrack:
“Fossils” might be going a bit far, but this Brooklyn-based outfit led by Dustin Payseur certainly has close ties to two periods from rock’s past: their resolutely lo-fi sound carries echoes of early 80s indie blended with the fuzz of Nuggets-style 1960s garage rock. Imagine a New Order or a Jesus and Mary Chain nurtured by the southern US sun instead of Manchester or East Kilbride’s dreary rainfall and you’ll be on the right track… Most of these songs are about doing nothing, or dedicate themselves to describing love in ways that are closer to a shrug than a heartfelt profession. But where someone like Wavves (a superficial contemporary whom it’s difficult not to compare to Beach Fossils) characterises boredom as a source of aggression and threat, Payseur remains sanguine about the not-much-happening world he sings about. This is the sound of sun-stunned drift, as opposed to slacker ennui.”
Check out the videos for “Daydream,” “Youth,” and “Adversity.” Pretty decent for your Labor Day listening, isn’t it?