At the very least, Dustin Payseur gets the Most Appropriate Band Name Award for 2010. The songs that appear on the group’s recent self-titled release, which Payseur mostly recorded on his own last year, really couldn’t fall under a name other than Beach Fossils. The hazy, sun-soaked songs sound like beach music past, present, and future. The echoed vocals, the tangled blurry guitars, the lean bounce of the percussion can’t evoke anything but the sand and salt air, and Payseur owes as much of his sound to the Beach Boys at their brightest, as he does to Galaxie 500 at their murkiest.
One of the greatest tricks a low-budget offering in any medium can pull off is making the budget irrelevant. Maybe the best example of this is The Blair Witch Project. Whatever you feel about that film, its intimacy made audiences forget it was recorded on handheld cameras. Likewise, the best bands of the lo-fi explosion don't ignore the fact that they're making bedroom recordings; they use it as a tool for creating a sense of vitality.
The sound of sun-stunned drift, as opposed to slacker ennui. Chris Power 2010 “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.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti For years now, it’s sounded like Ariel Pink’s been dreaming in shards, his songs like foggy sketches. He has recorded mostly at home, to cassette, one loopy idea after the next, mostly spazzy pop hiding behind the detritus of sonic trial-and-error. Even if he has been inarticulate at times, he anticipated the current distorted-indie-pop moment, and his sudden relevance appears to have invigorated him.