The Beths dwell on post-election dread with fiery new single ‘A Real Thing’
Written by ABR on 10/02/2022
Aotearoan pop-rock outfit The Beths have returned with a powerful new single titled ‘A Real Thing’, marking their first new material in almost two years.
It’s a darker track than fans of the band have to come to expect, standing out amid their catalogue with its bleak lyrics and bold, authoritative riffs more akin to metal than The Beths’ typically buoyant, jangly pseudo-surf-pop. On its explosive chorus, frontwoman Liz Stokes sings: “Getting rhyme over reason / It’s a sinister silly season / But maybe we can end up meaning / A real thing.”
The track arrives alongside a video helmed by the band’s longtime collaborators Annabel Kean and Callum Devlin (aka Sports Team), with whom The Beths recently worked on their concert film ‘Auckland, New Zealand, 2020’. Framed as a home video – replete with an old-school VHS filter – the clip comprise loose camcorder shots of the band exploring their homeland of New Zealand.
Take a look at the video for ‘A Real Thing’ below:
In a statement shared with the track, Stokes likened ‘A Real Thing’ to “a kind of anxiety dream”, describing it as “a bit muddled, a bit frantic [and] a bit sinister”. She continued: “[This song] is what came out of my guitar in late 2020, post NZ election (and US election).
“I was limply reaching for optimism about the future, but was really just marinating in dread. In NZ people sometimes use tyres and cement to build retaining walls by the water, to try to stop the land being eroded away as the sea encroaches. It doesn’t really work.”
Teased by the band’s team to be “an exciting marker of more excellent work to come”, ‘A Real Thing’ comes as the first track to follow The Beths’ 2020 album ‘Jump Rope Gazers’. It also comes amid their world tour in support of that record, with 15 dates left on their current North American run. From there, they’ll head to Australia for a three-date stint, then to the UK and Europe for a leg of 24 shows.
Tickets and full details for The Beths’ upcoming tour dates can be found on their website.
In a three-star review of ‘Jump Rope Gazers’, NME’s Matthew Taub opined: “There’s a newfound sense of workmanship, but that fact alone is each song’s defining feature. The irony of ‘Jump Rope Gazers’ is that as The Beths push themselves to do something different for album number two, they actually end up with the sonic sameness that the first record miraculously avoided. Only now do they sound like they could just be any other band.”
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