The Beths reveal their stunning sophomore album, Jump Rope Gazers in full - out now via Dew Process. To celebrate, the Auckland favourites have shared the title track 'Jump Rope Gazers', which premiered live this morning via their 'Live From House' livestream, alongside a gorgeous video in accompaniment.
Mellow in melody and emotive in its sentiment, Elizabeth Stokes says about the love song, "I've always dabbled in extreme sincerity, but always self consciously. I think there's nothing scarier than just using the words 'I love you' in a song. In a love song. I didn't manage it on our first album, but I guess I was ready for this one. The bass drum Tristan used for this one was a huge old modified marching bass drum. It's the slowest tempo we have played, which gives us space to do things we wouldn't normally be able to."
The accompanying video, directed by Sports Team (Annabel Kean and Callum Devlin) and shot at the Mangawhai Heads in New Zealand, features Stokes and bandmate Jonathan Pearce. "All the different landscapes were fifteen minutes walk from each other. I'd never seen sand dunes that big before, they were a beautiful dream. Walking up one was kind of like a nightmare though, they are so steep," says Stokes. With Director Annabel Kean adding, "'Jump Rope Gazers' is a total heart-breaker, huge feelings track, and it was clear from the first listen that Sports Team had to go bigger than ever to match the calibre. So, we shot a 5-minute sci-fi alien adventure romance."
The Beths marked their return in April this year with their rambunctious lead single 'Dying To Believe'. On the single, The Beths reckon with the distance that life necessarily drives between people over time - a sensibility that is impossibly accurate in today's climate. Wasting no time at all, they followed up with a second taste from the forthcoming record with 'I'm Not Getting Excited' - a track that grapples with imposter syndrome. As Stokes puts it, "deep down there's a tiny Liz saying, 'don't get excited.' She is certain that anything good that could happen will most likely not happen, because of a freak accident. Or because somebody finally realises that we aren't worthy, shouts 'phony!' and takes everything away." Their third single, 'Out Of Sight', is tender and shoegazing. It reckons with the distance that drives people apart and how those who love each other inevitably fail each other. The best way to repair that failure, in The Beths' view, is with abundant and unconditional love, no matter how far it has to travel.
The Beths are Elizabeth Stokes (vocals/guitar), Jonathan Pearce (guitar), Benjamin Sinclair (bass), and Tristan Deck (drums). Jump Rope Gazers is the follow-up to Future Me Hates Me, "one of the most impressive indie-rock debuts of the year," according to Pitchfork. The album received glowing praise and appeared on many year-end lists including Rolling Stone, NPR, Stereogum, and more.
Following the release of their critically-acclaimed debut album, The Beths devoted themselves to touring non-stop for a year and a half, playing to crowds of adoring fans and opening for acts like Pixies and Death Cab For Cutie throughout the US and Europe. In between intense touring stints, Elizabeth Stokes worked on what would become their second album. After a quick regroup the band settled down at Pearce's Auckland studio to write and record Jump Rope Gazers with Pearce in the production hot seat.
Across its 10 tracks Jump Rope Gazers tackles themes of anxiety and self-doubt with effervescent power-pop choruses and rousing backup vocals which collectively zero in on the communality and catharsis that can come from sharing stressful situations with some of your best friends. Touring far from home, The Beths committed to taking care of each other while simultaneously trying to take care of friends living thousands of miles away. That care and attention shines through on Jump Rope Gazers, where the quartet sounds more locked in than ever. Jump Rope Gazers stares down all the hard parts of living in communion with other people, even at a distance, while celebrating the ferocious joy that makes it all worth it.
Off the back of a sold out album release show at Auckland's Powerstation, the band have announced a huge run of headline dates across New Zealand, starting from August in addition to 2021 tour dates for the US, UK and Europe.