The Beths, Weakened Friends

Recommended
This event is in the past
Mon Aug 3, 9 pm
Doug Fir Lounge Buckman Neighborhood
$14 - $16

COVID-19 Update: This event has been rescheduled from its original date due to coronavirus concerns. The date on this page reflects the latest information about this event.

Don’t worry about placing the Beths within a larger trajectory of New Zealand music. Sure, the Auckland four-piece has a few things in common with the influential “Dunedin sound” and the reservoir of remarkable bands that made up the roster of Flying Nun Records, but the Beths’ sterling debut album Future Me Hates Me is closer to power-pop than jingle-jangle. From the opening track, “Great No One,” this band delivers smorgasbord after smorgasbord of hooks, with fuzzy guitars, soaring choruses, and irresistible melodies stacked high on top of each other. There’s also a magnanimous sense of congeniality, courtesy of singer/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes, whose self-deprecating lyrics and unaffected delivery make her sound like a close, fast friend whose understanding and humor help you make sense of the world. Future Me Hates Me’s title track doesn’t contain a single wasted second, with enough melodic twists and turns to fill an entire album. “Little Death,” meanwhile, is peppy without being frantic, impassioned without being overwrought. And “Happy Unhappy” is pure vitamin D, a ray of sunshine beaming directly into your ears. The musicians that make up the Beths were all jazz students, but there’s little evidence of their education apart from an assured competence on their instruments. Future Me Hates Me exists in a warm, cozily seductive place that’s not quite twee, not really punk, not exactly pop, and not too rock—it’s a place that can only be described as the Beths, and it stands a pretty good chance of being your favorite new place to hang out this year.

NED LANNAMANN


Doug Fir Lounge

830 E Burnside St. Portland, OR 97214
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