Beach Fossils: Somersault (Bayonet) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, October 26th, 2020  

Beach Fossils

Somersault

Bayonet

Jun 27, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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The third studio album from New York dreamy rockers Beach Fossils stops to a near-standstill half-way through its fifth track, "Rise," where Memphis rapper Cities Aviv leads a saxophone-induced slow dance. It's a moment of deft self-reflection on a record where, four years since their previous album, the members of Beach Fossils are still working out how to sound sure of themselves.

If you swapped lead singer Dustin Payseur's vocals out for Mac DeMarco's, little would sound out of placeboth Demarco and Beach Fossils started out on the same Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, after all. "Sugar" holds much the same blurry-eyed sonic sentiment as DeMarco's "My Old Man." The lo-fi dream rock state of both artists' output, alongside original 2008 label mates DIIV and Wild Nothing, remains.

Payseur's lyrics are still stereotypically and undeniably "indie""Couldn't really tell you/What I'm trying to find/Everyone's so boring/Makes me want to lose my mind," he sings on "Down the Line." But the 31-year-old, who is now joined by bassist Jack Doyle Smith and guitarist Tommy Davidson, has made sure to distil some surprises in Somersault which attempts to keeps it tripping on further away from 2013's Clash the Truth.

Somersault is still every bit a record of shimmering guitars: it's a feature on which this scene relies. More experimental additions don't always come off, too often waning on unnecessary-sounding. The harpsichord-heavy "Closer Everywhere" is striking, if lamentably jarring. The first time we hear a jazzy flute solo on "Saint Ivy," it feels a fun choice in amongst the string-heavy plodding melody, but by the second, on "Social Jetlag," it feels like a trope overused.

Beach Fossils are best when they stick with what they know, which is why tracks such as "May 1st" and "Be Nothing," with their spangly guitar lines and easygoing lilt, remain high-points on this laid-back summer record. (www.beachfossils.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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