By: Jack Stein
For those yearning for ragged, jangle-inundated pop beyond New Jersey’s brilliant Real Estate, Beach Fossils provide a wholly satisfying alternative. The emerging Brooklyn crew appears to have stepped its game up since 2010’s self-titled debut LP; while that record was awash in the soothing harmonies, wistful guitar noodling and half-mumbled vocals that scene exemplars Real Estate made their name on, many of the tracks bled into one another and fit the same general mold. Indeed, listening to Beach Fossils felt not unlike awaking from a pleasant nap, but not being able to remember what the hell you dreamed about.
Consider “Lessons” (from their upcoming sophomore LP later this year) a welcome wake-up call of a track, bringing the surprisingly nimble rhythm section to the forefront and tightening up the lovably loose songwriting while still retaining all the lackadaisical charm that the best of this “genre” is built upon. Over a humming beat reminiscent of “It’s Real” (by…yes, Real Estate), frontman Dustin Payseur makes vaguely nostalgic pleas while the rest of his band works up into a narcotic swirl around him. It’s certainly the closest these sleepy-eyed guys have come to “rocking out”, and while it may not be game-changing or even unique, there is something to be said about an act refining their craft to the point where they are near the top of their niche’s respective food chain. With more cuts like this, perhaps Beach Fossils can end the Real Estate comparisons and put an affirmative stamp on their own brand of woozy modern psychedelia. Kick your feet up and give this lazy jam a Listen (below).