Artist: Beach Fossils
Album: Clash the Truth
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Label: Captured Tracks
The year was 2009 and Beach Fossil’s lead singer Daniel Payseur seemed to be onto something.
At the birth of the Brooklyn-based, chill-wave, shoegaze revitalization, Daniels’s personal recording project Beach Fossils released their self-titled debut album and it’s fresh, dreamy sound quickly gained the band a huge buzz, almost marking them the poster children.
2011 came and Beach Fossils signed to local Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, enlisted John Pena on bass, Zachary Cole Smith on guitar and recorded their EP What A Pleasure, which set the blogosphere abuzz again.
Come 2013; John Pena left to pursue Heavenly Beat and Zach Smith went from a “Beach Fossils side project” that evolved into DIIV, a band of the same vein, but with more blood pumping. Where does that leave Clash the Truth, Beach Fossil’s sophomore album?
Payseur, seeming upset, confused and a bit wishy washy, borrowing sounds from more somber, passive aggressive, new wave styles. Understandably, as comparable chillwave bands such as Cloud Nothings, Real Estate or Wild Nothing have produced solid indie albums in the years following their debuts. Instead of Beach Fossils taking these years to build upon their likeable, signature sound, they decide to change it.
Take title track “Clash The Truth”. It begins with characteristically Beach Fossils-y quiet, introverted guitar, allowing the listener to zone out and get lost in the track. These bits are usually paired with soft, mumbling poetic lines we often can’t understand but want to. On “Clash The Truth” however, we are halted with brash, aggressive words, spat at us without a meaning revealed. Payseur seems angry, seems to be standing up to something… but what and who? It is not revealed.
Sure, there might still be new styles of indie pop to combine and experiment with, adding post-punk or new wave elements. But it seems Beach Fossils would benefit from moving forward with their signature sound and focus on their songs, rather than working within a jealous, passive aggressive, paradigm. Where’s the Beach Fossils we knew and loved? When did the “Daydream” stop?