Early morning energy, mix with a strong cup of coffee, and a bit of a twenty-something in the 90’s flashback. Yeah, I can’t help it, The Beths remind me of so much of the music I loved in the 90’s – that borderline between pop-punk and grrl rock. I’m digging it this morning especially. The sun is barely out, well, I think she’s been out for an hour, but the clouds are keeping her under cover. I get it. I wanted to stay under my blankets a little bit longer this morning, too. Waking up from an odd dream. Lately my dreams have been so very odd. Shopping malls, cell phones stuck on cartoons that can’t text or call, ex-boyfriends, lost keys, old apartments, my hair so much darker. Dreams are so strange and surreal, so full of my anxiety and over-active, technicolor imagination.
Best way to shake it out is to dance. This morning, it’s dancing to The Beths.
The guitar is what really gets me going, the way it kicks the song in full. Then Elizabeth Stokes pop-punk vocals start up – and I’m reminded of Letters to Cleo and Belly and The Donnas and that Saturday Morning Cartoons cover album (anyone remember that one?) I feel like I’ve just discovered The Beths, though I know its been longer – the first time I wrote about them here was in 2021 – but right now I’m in that just discovered honeymoon phase, and just can’t get enough of them. Maybe this is my Beth-renaissance.
“Head In The Clouds” by The Beths
Song of the Day
“Head In The Clouds” by The Beths – from the album, Expert In A Dying Field (2022)
“It’s a pain in the heart.
Clean the blood from your shirt.
Yeah, your head’s in the clouds.
But your soul’s in the dirt.”
Expert In A Dying Field, The Beths’ third studio album, has been described as the aftermath of a breakup album. Pitchfork said this about it, on its release this year:
Only beautiful dreamers prize the amicable breakup. With fuck-yous in short supply, severance goes from a clean break to a wrench complicated by second-guessing and enduring fondness—not to mention the painful awareness that fondness either wasn’t enough, or wasn’t given freely enough when it mattered. The Beths’ third album swims in this swirl of hope and anguish—an emotional postmortem that can be hard enough for the regretful to interest their weary friends in, let alone power the kind of snappy songwriting this band made its name on. But the New Zealanders are in their element at turning these murky ruminations into sterling indie rock, its catchiness inextricable from songwriter Elizabeth Stokes’ almost painfully bright and openhearted lyricism. (from Pitchfork)
The album, and this track – “Head In The Clouds” – fills me with energy, and shaking all the fucks off. It reminds me of that opening scene in an episode of My So-Called Life (back with the 90’s again) when Angela Chase dances off her feelings for Jordan Catalano, to “Blister In the Sun” (see below)
“Betrayal” from My So-Called Life
That’s the kind of post-breakup, or throw my fucks away, energy The Beths gift me. It seems like the same goes for Phoebe Bridgers, as well.
Recently, Phoebe Bridgers told Charli XCX, during the latter’s Best Song Ever podcast, that the band (The Beths) filled her with “unbridled joy” (from NME)
Me too, Phoebe. Me too.
For more joy that The Beths can deliver, dance on over HERE with me.