Matthew Dear announces new album ‘Beams’; debuts new track(Stream)
Matthew Dear Announces Details for Upcoming Album, Beams;
Offers Lead Track “Her Fantasy”
Released on 27th August (Ghostly International)
Matthew Dear, the relentless songwriter, producer and collaborator, offered an early taste of what to expect from Beams with the well-received EP, Headcage, in January of this year. The highlights were working with other producers (Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid) and vocalists (Johnny from The Drums) which lent Headcage an openness and poise.
Recorded in Dear’s home studio and mixed at Nicolas Vernhes’ Rare Book Room studios in Brooklyn, Beams evokes a day-lit dreamworld at once strange and familiar. While the album’s dancefloor-ready tempos, major keys, and sun-warmed synths signal Beams as the lighter, brighter response to its predecessor, closer inspection reveals a squirming mass of oddball details. Dear’s latest productions creak and groan like anxious organisms, with slivers of guitar, electric bass, and drum kit darting in and out among the synths and samples.
Early on in Matthew Dear’s Beams— the New York-based artist’s fourth full-length, his first since 2010’s shadowy masterpiece Black City— something strange happens. A thick-fingered electric bass gallops in atop a driving backbeat as Dear sneers, “It’s alright to be someone else sometimes.” It may be odd to hear former techno-wunderkind Matthew Dear playing rock music, but the manic punk pulse of “Earthforms” is just one facet of Beams’ kaleidoscopic journey. Shot through with equal parts optimism and uneasiness, Beams is the latest transmission from one of pop music’s most fascinating creative minds.
Beams’ lyrics, meanwhile, are deeply personal, expressing vulnerability and confusion in startlingly immediate ways. “Do I feel love like all of the others or is this feeling only mine?” Dear sings on the strutting lead-off single “Her Fantasy“, later wondering “Am I one heartbeat away from receiving a damaging shock to my life?” Dear has grown into his songwriting voice, and he wears his current lyrical perspective—that of a man with something to lose—with an impressive grace.
When all is said and done, the central tension in Matthew Dear’s Beams— musical mischief vs. lyrical maturity—may not be a tension at all. After all, growing up involves learning to integrate all of one’s disparate selves. “I’m about 4 to 5 different people at any given time,” Dear says. “By allowing all of those different personalities to exist… the most pure and direct self can come through in the music. [The songs] may still be cryptic, and full of contradictions—but in my opinion, that is pure, unadulterated thought in musical form. They are direct lines to the center.”
In other words, Beams. Beams is slated for an August 27th (EU/UK) & 28th (North America) release date.
Today, Matthew offers “Her Fantasy”—the celebratory lead single from said album. If Beams is the sound of Matthew Dear waking up after the long, dark night of Black City, then “Her Fantasy” is the sun’s first rays, peaking over the horizon. Opening with a head-turning whistle-and-cowbell rhythm, “Her Fantasy” signals Beams’ queasy optimism in classic Matthew Dear avant-pop form—that is, without verses and choruses per se, but by hustling through a series of wickedly catchy sections whose twisted internal logic becomes clear as the song progresses. The track builds to an ecstatic climax, in which Dear’s exhortation to “Sit where you stand / hand on your heart / hand on your man” is gradually engulfed in a cloud of treble-tickling distortion.
01. Her Fantasy
04. Fighting Is Futile
05. Up & Out
07. Get The Rhyme Right
08. Ahead of Myself
09. Do The Right Thing
10. Shake Me