Two incredible acts, Beacon and Dirty Beaches, are coming through Chicago this fall and they're rumored to be some serious standouts for the season. So check 'em out live while you can.
With a Best New Music on Pitchfork for his outstanding new double record Drifters/Love Is The Devil, Dirty Beaches has again proven to be one of the most innovative and compelling artists today, and will be playing on Thursday, September 12th at Empty Bottle with a full band. Heard recently in an interview on NPR's All Things Considered, they call Alex Zhang Hungtai's compositions "washy, dreamy rock music that often feels nostalgic" while Pitchfork see it as "both sprawling and detailed, a sonic travelogue that takes the textural aspects of his work to impressionistic heights." In a recent interview with Stereogum, they write that the record is "equal parts beautiful, heartbreaking, and (occasionally) terrifying," an apt description for his fascinating new video for "Casino Lisboa."
Beacon and Shigeto will be co-headlining a fantastic tour this summer, playing Bottom Lounge on Wednesday, September 18th with support from Nightmoves. A Brooklyn-based male duo, Beacon released their debut album, The Ways We Separate, on Ghostly earlier this spring to much acclaim, with Pitchfork writing, "Mullarney's voice is light, but it's grounded with an earnestness that is strengthened with each new instrumental flourish." An intoxicating blend of R&B and electronic grooves, The Ways We Separate captures smooth, sensual rhythms and lays them atop silky vocals and deep basslines, coming together into what Exclaim call "one of the most compelling and authentic-sounding albums of the year." Having toured with How To Dress Well, Gold Panda and Matthew Dear, Beacon put on a stellar live show and are sure to impress alongside Shigeto's vivid, beat-heavy electronic sound.
Photo Credit: Will Calcutt
"Mullarney’s voice is light, but it's grounded with an earnestness that is strengthened with each new instrumental flourish." Pitchfork
"Massagingly minimal R&B." FADER
"Mullarney’s slight tenor neatly fits Gossett’s knack for electronic groove." Consequence of Sound
"Beacon manage to craft one of the most compelling and authentic-sounding albums of the year." Exclaim!
"They fuse the deceptively sweet melodies of R&B with an intoxicating undercurrent of darkness." KEXP
Co-Headlining Fall 2013 Tour with Shigeto /
08.29.13 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA * 08.30.13 - Johnny Brenda’s - Philadelphia, PA * 08.31.13 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY * 09.03.13 - Brillobox - Pittsburgh, PA *
09.04.13 - U Street Music Hall - Washington, DC * 09.05.13 - Asheville Music Hall - Asheville, NC * 09.06.13 - NV - Knoxville, TN *
09.07.13 - Cosmic Charlie’s - Lexington, KY * 09.08.13 - Zanzabar - Louisville, KY *
09.10.31 - Mahall’s - Lakewood, OH *
09.11.13 - Bug Jar - Rochester, NY *
09.12.13 - Le Belmont - Montreal, QC *
09.13.13 - The Garrison - Toronto, ON *
09.14.13 - Laneway Festival - Rochester Hills, MI !
09.18.13 - Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL #
09.19.13 - Miramar Theatre - Milwaukee, WI #
09.20.13 - The Frequency - Madison, WI #
09.21.13 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN #
09.22.13 - Bourbon Theatre - Lincoln, NE #
09.23.13 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO #
09.25.13 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT #
09.27.13 - Decibel Festival (The Crocodile) - Seattle, WA @
09.28.13 - Electric Owl - Vancouver, BC # %
09.29.13 - Holocene - Portland, OR # %
10.02.13 - The Jambalaya - Arcata, CA #
10.03.13 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA #
10.04.13 - Echoplex - Los Angeles, CA #
10.05.13 - Casbah - San Diego, CA # %
* with Heathered Pearls
! with Matthew Dear, ADULT., Heathered Pearls
# with Nitemoves
@ with Lusine, Dauwd, Nitemoves
% with Phaeleh
The Ways We Separate
01. Bring You Back
02. Feeling's Gone
03. Between The Waves
06. Late November
07. Studio Audience
10. Split In Two
Thomas Mullarney and Jacob Gossett, aka Brooklyn duo Beacon, introduced themselves to the world with the No Body and For Now EPs, both released last year on Ghostly International. The EPs were united by minimalist, R&B-influenced instrumentation, and also by a lyrical theme, with both serving as meditations on the darkness that underpins the most intense of human emotions: love.
The duo's debut album The Ways We Separate both consolidates and develops these ideas. The album focuses, as the title suggests, on the idea of separation — both within the context of relationships and in a more intimate, psychological sense. As Mullarney explains, "The narrative contained inside The Ways We Separate deals with two kinds of separation: one where two entities grow apart, and the other where we grow apart from ourselves. Over the course of a relationship, the two sometimes happen together, one being the result of the other."
Desires, passions and regrets are central to the songs on The Ways We Separate, which take a variety of perspectives to construct a nuanced reflection on the album's central theme. 'Between the Waves' draws a clever analogy between relationships and soundwaves falling out of phase: "I know all the ways we separate/ Where we start to fade at different frequencies." 'Overseer' catalogues a parting of the ways with discomfiting clarity: "Isn't it fine?/ Taking it slow?/ Watching you watch me walk out your door." And album closer 'Split in Two' explores how the extremes of love and loss can take you far away from being the person you thought you were, making explicit the connection between the two ideas of separation: "What I'd do for you?", sings Thomas Mullarney, "Split myself in half/ Divided into two."
Musically, The Ways We Separate finds Beacon working with a richer sonic palette than ever before —as Gossett says, "The production on this album is much more expansive than anything thing we’ve done thus far. We spent a lot of time exploring new gear and experimenting with how to pull a wide range of sound out of various instruments. Some of the key sonics that shaped this LP are analogue synthesis, lots of heavily processed guitar work, and vocal layering/processing." While the abiding mood remains that of late-night introspection, the production draws from elements of hip hop and a wide gamut of electronic music, marrying intricate beats and subtle textures to honeyed pop melodies that belie the album's conceptual depth. Rarely has bleakness sounded so pretty — this is a record that's deceptively, compellingly beautiful, an exploration of a place both discomfiting and darkly seductive.