Brooklyn’s own dream-gaze rock duo Beverly are back with their sophomore album, The Blue Swell via Brooklyn’s supreme indie label Kanine Records! Spearheaded by Drew Citron and Scott Rosenthal, these two have created a beautiful, serenading project that is mellow with a jolt of energetic instrumentation to keep your attention.
2014 was the last time we saw a full project from #HotBev. Their debut album Careers was well received amongst the music blogosphere that started out as a project from Frankie Rose and Drew Citron. After Frankie’s departure to Los Angeles, Drew took Beverly to great heights playing shows around the globe and working on new songs at the same time. The Blue Swell flows together so well sonically that you felt that you were present at the Canadian lake house that this record was recorded in. ‘Bulldozer’ is a stellar opener that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Its atmospheric, reverb induced, and has a harmonic chorus — this is what you should expect and admire about Beverly but it’s more ferocious.
The album’s lead single ‘Crooked Cop’ is one of the more tender tracks on this album with delicate electric guitar-riffs that in my view have become a staple at live shows. The vocal harmonies are so warm and sunny that they put you right at the beach. ‘You Said It’ is another relaxing track on this album with a chorus that is wonderfully repetitive that I found myself repeating endlessly after multiple listens. There’s a driving drum beat on this track that complement the hook and bring the swirling guitars together so well.
Songs like ‘South Collins’ lose some of the albums ubiquitous catchiness that hook you right in, but it does do a great job of hypnotizing you with Drew’s delicate voice. Not my favorite track on the album, but I do appreciate the noisy, washed out guitar riff resting in the background serving as a nod to the work of My Bloody Valentine. I look at this song as a rest stop on the road-trip imagery provoked on this record. ‘The Smokey Pines’ has the same issue, it loses the energetic jolt that the rest of the album showcases. Speaking of energetic jolt, ‘You Used to Be A Good Girl’ comes at you fast at only 2:25 minutes with fuzzed out vocals, and quickly paced guitar riffs that simply come out of nowhere. Drew drops a few F-bombs as well, and sometimes you have to use one of FCC’s “favorite” words to add that extra pizzazz to a song.
‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’ has similar traits to ‘You Said It’, but much richer. It’s a perfect example of the progression of Beverly’s sound with multi layered, heavenly, dream-like vocal harmonies. Let’s not forget the meditative string arrangement that brings this album to a happily-sad conclusion. Sad in the feeling you get after getting off a thrilling ride at Six Flags, “It’s over already?” All in all, Beverly is starting to hit their stride with “The Blue Swell” with ten tracks that are meant to be repeated multiple times while you’re on a night time cruise to the beach.