She Beats

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The second album by the Australian group Beaches, 2013's She Beats, is a swirling dream-like collection of guitars, vocals, and hypnotic rhythms that conjures up hazy '60s vibes, heavy '90s feelings, and a timeless sense of music played by people on the same wavelength locking together and forming an unbreakable circle of sound. The five women in the group have obviously soaked in a lot of good guitar music (from the Flying Nun roster to the Rain Parade to Sonic Youth) and have mashed it all together to come up with something that sounds familiar, yet quite fresh and intriguing. The music is muscular and ripples with barely restrained power, yet has plenty of subtlety. The singing and music fit together perfectly, with voices blending together in loose harmonies that float beautifully above the Motorik beats and rambling guitars. While a few of the songs stand out, due to enchanting vocal parts ("Distance"), dreamily psychedelic choruses ("Out of Mind"), or sharp guitar lines ("Send Them Away"), most of the album ebbs and flows like a peaceful ocean of sound. It creates a warm and inviting feel and is easy to keep playing in the background all day long as you go about your business, your mood being shaped by the positive and powerful music. There are moments of jagged noise and some tumult here and there, but it is muted by the warmth of the vocals and the smoothed-over production. Beaches have an impressive amount of power in the sounds, and the gracefully intense presentation of the songs is easy to fall in love with. Basically, there are quite a few bands doing the whole pysch-dream-shoegaze thing in 2013, but Beaches bring a different energy and feel to the sound, making She Beats an album to seek out for sure if you are a fan of music that fits that equation.

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