Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lost = Found | Beulah - The Coast Is Never Clear

Album art for Beulah's The Coast Is Never Clear

Lost = Found is a new feature the SIC gang will be testing out over the next few months. The general idea is to feature an album we love that time has let slip into musical obscurity, or one that the new kids on the block may not yet be privy to. We encourage you, loyal reader, to help us refine it by leaving comments of your own, or emailing us with feature ideas. We're outgoing people - let's create some community on this here blog.


Plucked from the black hole in my record collection that's created sometimes when a band breaks up, Beulah's third record, The Coast Is Never Clear, recently came back into permanent rotation after I took a trip down memory lane while unpacking boxes from a move.

It didn't take long to recall the feeling, that if summer could be bottled - no, strike that - if the season of summer, as it exists in the gray matter ingredients that make up my cerebral cortex, could be recorded, spun onto wax, and played via stylus through speakers, it would sound like this release from 2001. But it's not the lyrics that make this the perfect album to soundtrack your travel to whatever body of water you enjoy soaking your bones in - it's the overriding feeling of relaxation that comes over you when ingesting its wares.

That's not to say that the summer comparison is a stretch – given the album cover looks like a poster you’d see in the Honolulu airport, and a few song titles, like “Burned By The Sun” and “What Will You Do When Your Suntan Fades” appear to be lifted from a Jimmy Buffet record. But it’s not overpowering from a thematic standpoint, and most songs simply give the feeling of lying around somewhere hot with something cool in your hand.

When broken apart, the musical stylings present are extremely wide and varied. "Popular Mechanics for Lovers," with its plinky piano and call-and-response chorus, is pure indie-pop goodness while "A Good Man Is Easy to Kill," calls us back to the '70s with lush strings and woodwinded melodies. To guide us home, "I'll Be Your Lampshade," with its soft horns and twangy guitar, is fit for a mosey on the beach, late in the day when the sun is low, and you've worn yourself out by sitting in a chair and drinking adult beverages.

From start to finish, we're led on a journey that is mostly soothing, with brief intermissions of excitement, that at their peppiest, never seem out of place in context we've framed here. It's one of those records, that when put on the turntable and played from start to finish, immediately catches the ear of those less fortunate, who didn't get to know it back in the day.

As our first Lost = Found record, we highly recommend The Coast Is Never Clear. Check it out below, or go here to pick it up.

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