Beachwood Sparks

by | Jul 11, 2012 | Reviews

“Unparalleled psychedelic indie-folk experience”

The Tarnished Gold

Los Angeles, CA

(Sub Pop Records)

Have you ever wondered to yourself what it might sound like if Willy Nelson and James Mercer of The Shins got together and created an indie-folk epic that conjured up images of the wild, untamed frontier AND 1960s acid flashbacks? Well there is no need to meditate on these wild musical fantasies anymore, thanks to the release of Beachwood Sparks’ first album in 11 years, The Tarnished Gold.

The Tarnished Gold wastes no time immersing you into what is a pilgrimage of an album, with the first slide of the lap steel that encompasses with a warm embrace as you drift off into the universe that is Beachwood Sparks. Tracks like “Mollusk,” with immensely spacious vocal and lap steel parts, accompanied by journeying acoustic guitar chords, evoke images of lonesome travelers fallen astray from the path into the new frontier, which happens to be in an alternate universe, mind you. In between the more psychedelic ditties are traditionally approached folk songs like “Talk About Lonesome,” a song of heartbreak and reflection with prominent banjo and harmonica parts a la Neil Young. This ‘good trip’ comes to a close with the poignantly brief track “Goodbye,” which perfectly meshes the lyrically classic folk themes with the vast, psychedelic-indie sound.

Produced by Thom Manahan