Los Angeles – It’s been four years since we last heard anything from Brooklyn indie rockers, Beach Fossils. While such a wait can seem grueling for fans, it was a necessary withdrawal for lead singer/founder, Dustin Payseur. He’s debuting his long-awaited return, Somersault, on his own new label, Bayonet Records, which he co-owns with his wife, Kate Garcia. The return of Beach Fossils is now just a trio with Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson, both of whom played on the band’s previous 2013 sophomore record, Clash The Truth. Despite the departure of long time drummer, Tommy Gardner this past March, the band’s core sound is still in tact. However, we are introduced to strings, piano, flute, saxophone and even harpsichord on the band’s third LP. As the band sets their sights on an upcoming tour, Beach Fossils have found new methods on connecting with new and previous fans alike. Somersault is a fresh start for Beach Fossils as they’ve established more independence with this release, but it’s also validation of a band in full bloom.
The record kicks off with “This Year” and right from the start, you sense the band’s keen imagination. A reflective tale, “This Year” features guitars that strike with luminous precision. The tempo flows with tenacity and the string section adds splendor to the song as it soars high from beginning to end. It’s a song about setting yourself up for change, but still making those same mistakes all over again. A tune that embodies today’s youth culture, Beach Fossils tap into that zeitgeist since they’re very well a part of it. “Tangerine (ft. Rachel Goswell of Slowdive)” is a breezy jam with the vocal pairing of Goswell and Payseur working together amicably. “Saint Ivy,” one of the recent singles, is another new direction for Beach Fossils. With the inclusion of strings, piano, and a flute, the song lives within another era of music. Perhaps it’s the 60s with the arrangements reminding me of vintage Beatles, at least for this specific track. “May 1st” does feel a bit like old Beach Fossils just with a more mature understanding of the world around them. As the band grows older, their music and artistic expressions seem to reflect that. I like the crisp guitars that evoke a dreamy soundscape. Their sound is refreshing to the ear and with a clearer vision in mind, Beach Fossils are succeeding on a new level.
“Rise (ft. Cities Aviv)” is a more freestyle track, featuring the words of Gavin Mays. The soulful, sub-two minute track is 90s inspired. It’s both unique and experimental for a band taking more chances here than they ever had in the past. “Social Jetlag” conjures this idea of walking through a crowded street, merely another face in the crowd. It conjures up a psychedelic vibe and fits well with its companion pieces on Somersault. My favorite pick is “Down The Line.” A song for today’s youth, lyrically it embodies angst, uncertainty, and apathy. Musically speaking, it’s the band tightest track with an effervescent baseline and sweeping guitars. Closing track, “That’s All For Now” provides lush arrangements, but also comes off as being quite wistful. It’s another track where you’ll find yourself thinking about the events around you, the circumstances that have come about, and the resolutions (or lack thereof) that have been realized. In the end, Somersault paints Beach Fossils in a different light, where adolescence thoughts have drifted into adulthood concerns. Ultimately, it’s what makes the album’s theme so universal.
Somersault is available for purchase through iTunes. LP, CD, and cassettes are available via Bayonet Records. Head over to the Beach Fossils Facebook page for tour dates.
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