Beat Connection – Surf Noir EP (Moshi Moshi)





Just when you think the love affair with the whole surf kudos scene has run its course, a new stubborn nadir is reached as yet another blogsphere-freindly US indie act wallows in the opulent backwash and hazy dreaminess of this, surely by now, cliched genre.

However Seattle’s incandescent duo, Beat Connection, somehow drift through the crowded melee, with their laconic and wistfully adroit take on the sort of blue-eyed Spectorish pop, peddled by such crooning converts as their label mates The Drums – whose name can’t help but crop up. They actually have just as much in common, musically, with the lush choral iridescence tones of Warpaint and Best Coast, than with those Brooklyn Jan And Dean doo-wop hipsters. For good measure they’ve distanced themselves under the thoroughly post-modern moniker of ‘Surf Noir’.

Unveiling  their wares on an over-extended 8-track EP, the multifaceted band mix both full length pulsing mini-opuses with atmopsheic listless interludes and build-ups. The ever-present seashore is adhered to throughout: caustic tides bringing in the opening tremelo twanged and trip-hop breakbeat drums of the stunning Sunburn, and electrified flocks of seagulls stir up the soulful percussive, falsetto paean, In The Water to great effect – a potential addition to this Summers soundtrack. Sometimes the synths and ambient allusions dominate; showcased on the Eno/ Boards of Canada feel static Wildheart.  Unfortunatly they also add  jaunty house vibes into the mix, (Theme From Yours Truly), which come across as a tad too fey and lightweight. Vocoder effects, handclaps, marimba and steel drums all add an exotic touch, along with just the mereist hint Paul Simon melodic Afro-beat thrown in (Silver Screen) for the hell of it; pushing them towards the space occupied so dominatly by Panda Bear and Animal Collective.

Everything about Beat Connection should annoy me – that awfully ironical moniker of theirs for a start. Yet they successfully ameliorate the retrograde indulged surfing pop, and, electro psych sound with something freshly invigorating. I can already see this one making my end of year list.

Released 9/02/2011


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