Following the release of their deeply affecting single “Until Next Time,” Beacon have announced their upcoming fourth album, Along the Lethe, with an eclectic pair of new songs.
The first of two special collaborations (longtime friend and musical kindred spirit Matthew Dear also features on a song), comes from the legendary Colin Stetson who lent his genius on “Ostrich” a new single out now.
“Ostrich” is an enchanting piano piece that invites multi-instrumentalist Colin Stetson to weave a tapestry of horns and woodwinds into its gentle chords and swells of noise. The centerpiece from Along the Lethe was inspired by a tuning technique used by Lou Reed and John Cale in The Velvet Underground. Their Ostrich tuning requires all strings on an instrument to be tuned to the same note, and with this foundation, Jacob and Thomas improvised on the various synths and instruments in their studio to give the song its hypnotic atmosphere. “Colin delivered his performance a day before Christmas Eve in 2021,” Thomas explains, “and with it being the first demo written for the record in late 2019, ‘Ostrich’ is both the oldest song on the record and the last to be finished.” Stetson tells us “ “What a joy to spin and whirl and call out into the ether with these lovely Beacon folks. Many thanks for having me on.”
Meanwhile “Can’t Turn Back” is an effervescent amalgamation of genres, timbres, and moods. Jacob Gossett’s love for UK garage rhythms melts into twinkling synth arpeggios and atmospheric pads while Thomas Mullarney III sings with conviction and tenderness of losing himself in “the constant dark.” As part of a record written largely during quarantine, a specter of hopelessness and unending struggle looms large, but the more empowering music seems to keep the doom at bay as it tilts toward the sky.
Along the Lethe could have only been born out of these unique circumstances. Both Thomas and Jacob found themselves chasing anxiety with fits of inspiration as they wrote. And after parting ways with their longtime record label months into the pandemic, their artistic bond was strengthened more than either expected. “Creatively, it felt like a magical time,” producer Jacob Gossett shares. While up in the Poconos at the start of quarantine, with nothing but his laptop and Minilogue synth, he broke a months-long musical silence writing demos upon demos and sending them directly to Thomas. “In some ways this was another fortunate side effect of what was going on,” Jacob says of his process. “I wasn’t bogged down by finding the perfect synth patch or kick, just very much in the moment and inside the initial spirit of an idea.”
Photo Courtesy: Bjarne x Takata