The Beths A Real Thing
The Beths are back in full force with a new single called “A Real Thing”, their first new song since the release of their acclaimed album Jump Rope Gazers in 2020. “This song is a kind of anxiety dream. It’s a bit muddled, a bit frantic, a bit sinister” says lead singer Liz Stokes. Stokes wrote this song in late 2020, following the election in New Zealand and the U.S, attempting to reach for optimism about the future, but ultimately playing more apocalyptic scenarios of climate change in her head. The upbeat urgency in the song is palpable from the very start and paired with the band’s signature bright, raucous guitar hooks and cooing harmonies, the song races and soars, much like an increasing heart rate. The Beths’ infectious and insightful songwriting on “A Real Thing” is an exciting marker of more excellent work to come.
The Beths is a band from Auckland, New Zealand composed of vocalist/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes, guitarist Jonathan Pearce, bassist Benjamin Sinclair, and drummer Tristan Deck. Stokes, Pearce, and Sinclair started playing music together when they were in high school, while Deck met them through the local music scene and joined the band in 2019.
The four-piece’s breakout debut Future Me Hates Me was released via Carpark Records in 2018 to international acclaim, hailed by Pitchfork as “one of the most impressive indie-rock debuts of the year.” The next year, The Beths were nominated for five Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, winning Best Group and Best Alternative Artist. A slew of international touring ensued, with shows supporting Pixies, Death Cab for Cutie and The Breeders; appearances at major international festivals including Primavera Sound, The Great Escape, End of the Road, SXSW, Pickathon and more; and headline tours across North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. That catapult from working day jobs and playing music in New Zealand into the international spotlight was the catalyst for their second record, Jump Rope Gazers, which chronicles the bizarre leap when touring becomes your full-time job and the unexpected homesickness that comes with success. The record was released in July 2020 to widespread praise, with Rolling Stone calling Jump Rope Gazers “Beatles-level melodic smarts”, The Line of Best Fit naming it an “overwhelmingly thrilling record” and Phoebe Bridgers even told Charli XCX in an interview that “[‘Jump Rope Gazers’] fills me with unbridled joy.“ The album saw The Beths win Album of the Year, Best Group and Best Alternative Artist at New Zealand’s Aotearoa Music Awards later that year.
The Beths spent the rest of 2020 and most of 2021 at home, hosting several live streams for fans and working on new material during the height of the pandemic. They also released Auckland, New Zealand, 2020, the band’s live album and full-length concert film. It was recorded at Auckland Town Hall in November 2020, at a time when New Zealand was one of the few countries where live music was still possible: a small miracle captured on tape and film. In early 2022, The Beths released a standalone single, “A Real Thing,” their first studio release since Jump Rope Gazers.
The Beths’ third and best album, Expert In A Dying Field, will be released on September 16, 2022 via Carpark Records. Its 12 songs explore the same noisy, cerebral indie-rock-meets-power pop of earlier records, but imbued with an electric shock of new confidence: a record meant to be experienced live.