Album of the Day: The Beths, “Future Me Hates Me”

Few bands make angst sound as joyous as the Beths do on their debut LP. As its title suggests, the album is full of songs of both regret and self-doubt, but the group deliver them with some of the strongest power-pop this side of Weezer’s Blue Album. The New Zealand quartet—who studied jazz together in Auckland—have a penchant for writing massive choruses that crash like tidal waves, and their songs are as tightly-wrought as they are relentless. On the belligerent breakup track “Uptown Girl,” frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes calls down the wrath of the gods (and a glass of poisoned wine) on a crummy ex as her band yank her from one full-octane hook to another, emphasizing her own frenzied urge to “drink the whole town dry.” Later, in “You Wouldn’t Like Me,” a sunny doo-wop arrangement and crisp backup vocals serve as a foil for Stokes’s harshest self-indictment: “You wouldn’t like me if you saw what was inside me.”

But Future Me Hates Me isn’t all doom and gloom. Stokes knows that falling in love is a gamble, and on the album’s title track in particular, she acknowledges that it’s better to have loved and lost than to be, as she deftly puts it, “happy unhappy.” The Beths know how to dig up both the wounds and the sugar-rush that accompany new romance; on their debut they do so with exceptional gusto.

-Max Savage Levenson

One Comment

  1. Keith Pearce
    Posted August 9, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Have been following The Beths since coming across them in summer 2016. Probably the best discovery I’ve made here in Bandcamp. Their attention to melody, clever lyrics, and strong musicianship make them a favorite of mine. Happy that you featured them on Album of the Day. Wish them loads of success.

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