FILTER PRESS

The Beths Auckland, New Zealand, 2020

Marketing Info

UPCs:
LP – 677517015713
CD – 677517015720
Digital – 677517015751

— North American publicity by Pitch Perfect PR
— College/Non-Commercial radio by Terrorbird
— Sync licensing by Terrorbird
— Promo video of “Future Me Hates Me” from the concert film
— Full-length concert film available on Vimeo with more streaming/rental platforms to follow
— Features music from Jump Rope Gazers, Future Me Hates Me and Warm Blood

Tracklist

1. I’m Not Getting Excited – Live
2. Great No One – Live
3. Whatever – Live
4. Mars, the God of War – Live
5. Future Me Hates Me – Live
6. introduction
7. Jump Rope Gazers – Live
8. Uptown Girl – Live
9. bird talk
10. Happy Unhappy – Live
11. Out of Sight – Live
12. thank you
13. Don’t Go Away – Live
14. Little Death – Live
15. Dying to Believe – Live
16. River Run – Live

Hi-Res Download Of Album Artwork:

 

Hi-Res Download Of Press Photo:

photo by: Amanda Cheng

photo by: Frances Carter

Release Preview

About

The anticipation is there in Elizabeth Stokes’ solo guitar riff under the opening lines of “I’m Not Getting Excited”: a frenetic, driving force daring a packed Auckland Town Hall to do exactly the opposite of what the track title suggests.

As the opener of The Beths’ Auckland, New Zealand, 2020 expands to include the full band, the crowd screeches and bellows. It’s a collective exhalation, in one of the few countries where live music is still possible.

The album title, and film of the same name, deliberately include the date and location, lead guitarist Jonathan Pearce says. “That’s the sensational part of what we actually did.” In a mid-pandemic world, playing to a heaving, enraptured home crowd feels miraculous.

In March 2020, everything seemed on track for another huge year for The Beths. Home after an 18-month northern hemisphere tour, they had just finished recording sophomore album Jump Rope Gazers and were primed for more extensive touring. But within days, New Zealand’s lockdown split the band between three separate houses. All touring was cancelled.

“It was existentially bad,” Stokes says. As well as worrying about economic survival, they lost something crucial to the band’s identity: live performance. “It’s a huge part of how we see ourselves… What does it mean, if we can’t play live?”

The band found an outlet through live-streaming, returning to the do-it-yourself mentality of their early days to connect with a global audience. The album and film have their genesis in that urge to share the now-rare experience of a live show, as widely as possible.

The fuzzy-round-the-edges live-streams pointed the way aesthetically. Native birds, wonkily crafted by the band from tissue paper and wire, festoon the venue’s cavernous ceiling while house plants soften and disguise the imposing pipes of an organ. The presence of the film crew isn’t disguised: much of the camerawork is handheld; full of fast zooms and pans.

With much of the material still fresh, the band was less focused on re-invention than playing “a good, fast rock show”, Pearce says. The tempo is up on crowd favourites “Whatever” and “Future Me Hates Me” (released as a live single on its third anniversary) as both band and audience feed off the mutual energy in the room.

Certain songs have taken on special resonance post-Covid. Pearce has found “Out Of Sight”, a tender rumination on long-distance relationships, hits particularly hard with live audiences.

Album closer “River Run” visibly brings Stokes to tears as a mix of achievement and relief kicks in. “You can finally relax at that point … You play the last note, breathe out a sigh and look up – and you’re in a giant room full of people happy and smiling.”

“Looking back on the strangest year in living memory for the world I am so grateful to have been able to experience live music here in NZ, a rare privilege. Somehow, through that time the musicians and audiences of Aotearoa /NZ felt closer and more supportive of each other, turned out in greater numbers and celebrated a diversity of talent. The Beths have recorded and filmed one of the pivotal events of the year, their concert at the Auckland Town Hall. Its high energy pop music for the ages.” – Neil Finn (Fleetwood Mac, Crowded House, Split Enz)

Artist Bio

The Beths hail from the vibrant and deeply collaborative music community of Auckland, New Zealand. Lead vocalist and guitarist Elizabeth Stokes met guitarist Jonathan Pearce and bassist Benjamin Sinclair while they were all in bands in high school. While playing underground gigs around Auckland, they befriended drummer Tristan Deck, who joined the group in 2019. Their blend of propulsive, sing-along choruses, four-part vocal arrangements, and wry, introspective lyrics has earned them fans around the world, as well as opening slots for indie rock titans like The Breeders, Pixies, Weezer, and Death Cab for Cutie.  

 After putting out their first EP Warm Blood in 2016, The Beths signed to Carpark Records, who issued their 2018 debut album Future Me Hates Me. The record’s irresistible pop rock hooks drew acclaim from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, Stereogum, the A.V. Club, and a host of other publications, many of whom listed Future Me Hates Me among their favorite LPs of 2018. The album also made the shortlist for New Zealand’s 2018 Taite Music Prize, and Stokes has twice been nominated for the Silver Scroll Award, New Zealand’s most prestigious songwriting honor. In 2019, The Beths were nominated for five Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, winning Best Group and Best Alternative Artist. 

After touring the northern hemisphere for a year and a half in 2018 and 2019, The Beths regrouped to write and record their second album, Jump Rope Gazers, a sparkling collection of songs that deepens and expands the bright talent they showed on their early releases. Bonds between the band members only grew after spending so much time on the road together, and their camaraderie shows on their new work. Recorded and produced by Pearce in his Auckland studio, Jump Rope Gazers will be released by Carpark in 2020, a year that promises to bring The Beths’ delightful music to even more new listeners.