Shoegazing indie pop for the heavyhearted.
Beachy Head is a chalk cliff in Sussex in the UK. It’s one of Britain’s most popular beauty spots but also a notorious suicide spot and having visited it, there is a strange beauty to it knowing its history. Its this funny intimacy and grand scale that Beachy Head brings to their rock. Its a poignant mixture of indie dreams, grizzly guitars and Casio bossa nova drumloops.
Clocking in at a short 29 minutes, Beach Head doesn’t hang around but the eight tracks are all corkers. In particular ‘Michael’ is an epic blur of shoegazed guitars, real and loops drums and vocal layers. The album has a polished bedroom rock veneer to it at times. The playful tinny keyboard drumloops hide in the background and are swamped as the big guitars, synths and vocals plunge in. This allows the duo of Chris and Ryan to work their magic. Rachel Goswell joins for vocals on a few tracks too.
The album is a depressed driving mashup of indie rock anthems (‘Distraction’), folktronica post-rock (‘October’) and even a bit of 80’s new romantic tinges (‘All Gone’ and ‘Destroy Us’). Each song sounds fantastic and has gravitas to it. I also really enjoyed how the mood was still heavy regardless of what style the rock switched to. The music also felt cohesive too aside from ‘Looking for Exits’ sounding like a totally different rock set up to the rest of the album. I also took to song titles and lyrical themes to chart a subtle character journey to perhaps jumping off of Beachy Head themselves. You don’t need to look deeply for it but it is there if you enjoy a concept album too.
Ryan Graveface, who runs Graveface Records, has a penchant for picking out interesting indie acts that can balance beauty and distant sadness. With this new release, he once again shows that he can do it in yet another project too. As I’m sure some artists will say, Beachy Head the place certainly has beauty and sadness in troves. Now the music of its namesake can hold hands with it and give a soundtrack to those struggles and epic spaces.
Recommended track: Michael
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