Release Date: Sep 16, 2022
Record label: Carpark Records
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The New Zealanders’ third album takes their scuzzy, melodic guitar rock sound and adds extra muscle There’s something obviously stirring in the continent of Oceania. While most attention has been given to the seemingly endless stream of talented artists coming out of Australia right now (this year alone, we’ve had new records from Stella Donnelly, Julia Jacklin and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever), their Kiwi neighbours are no slackers either. Auckland’s The Beths have been releasing records since 2018 and, since their debut Future Me Hates Me, have quickly established themselves as one of the country’s most exciting bands.
There is only one Beth. A couple of months ago, I was taking The Beths' music for granted. But oh how we grow--on the 16th of September, the closing track from Expert In A Dying Field made me weep like Dan Carter watching Wayne Barnes single-handedly strip a nation of its hopes, dreams, and self-worth. The Beths are talented enough to yield incessant praise from a largely ignored local media apparatus, and they seem to easily sell out gigs wherever they set foot in God's Own. Yet, while I've scarcely left their home country of Aotearoa since they dropped their first record in 2018, I've never heard one of their songs play on the radio or at a social gathering.
Coming after The Beths' raw and energetic 2018 debut (Future Me Hates Me), the band's sophomore album, 2020's Jump Rope Gazers, was a more polished, introspective, and melancholic affair. The lyrics were honest and revealing, reflecting frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes' hectic experience going on tour and the unexpected longing for normalcy as a result. The band's third album, Expert in a Dying Field, lies somewhere in between the group's previous two records, combining the potency of the debut and the heartfelt emotions of Gazers.
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