You know, its been a while since I reviewed a Beach Fossils release and for good reason, its been nearly four years since their last. They’ve steadily built on the sound that hooked me on their debut, but with Somersault they finally shake off the trappings that come with being a Captured Tracks jangle band and grow exponentially. Leaving Captured Tracks for their own Bayonet Records may have something to do with the freedom of sound, but its not without noting that this sounds like the biggest and likely most expensive Beach Fossils record. Not that money makes a good record, but they’ve certainly used it wisely to flesh out the lush orchestrations and mature sound of Somersault.
Age likely plays into songwriter Dustin Payseur’s transition to a cleaner, crisper and more enveloping sound. The songwriter edged into his 30’s while this release was under way and, in NYC years, that brings about more of the quarterlife musings than a true-life 25. He’s touching on the transitions of friendships that happen at this mile-marker, the disillusionment with the city as it begins to ebb further from the artist’s environment and an even deeper disillusionment with one’s country as it begins to drift into political tastes that sour the tongue and wear on the soul.
At it’s core though Somersault is a record about who you surround yourself with, friends and family — surrogate families of the kind that spring up in the city. Paired with the band’s equally introspective songwriting and reliance on orchestration on this album this makes for their best recording to date. The band is slipping the veneer of their old ’80s heroes and transitioning into a new set; trading in The Wake for late period Felt. Though, to be fair they really seem to just using those influences as a jumping off point these days. This is the world as it twists about Beach Fossils in blurred tones of comfort and depression. It’s the sound of a band coming into their own, the scrappy Brooklyn kids replaced with artists looking to make a record that will outlive them all. They may well have done just that.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.