Every Record I Own: The Beths – Expert in a Dying Field
Elly got me this album for our anniversary. She was on a 2 month walk in Australia and the morning of our anniversary I got a message from her saying to check behind my copy of Michael King’s History of New Zealand and there was a packet of lollies and a card saying she had pre-ordered it for me! I don’t often pre-order albums so it was quite a safe present, but The Beths were doing a competition to win a guitar or a pair of headphones if you pre-ordered so I was planning on doing it, so was lucky that I hadn’t before that day. Then Elly won the pair of headphones from the competition anyway and she gave them to me too. Elly has asked me to not write about her, but I want to say that she is a really really great girlfriend.
There was always a risk that the Beths would never be able to live up to the magic of their first album (which I will come to here sometime). Their second album (which will also feature here) didn’t quite match it, but with Expert in a Dying Field they have made something that features what was amazing about their first album, but also brings something new to the band. Songs like Silence is Golden and Best Left sound completely different to anything they’ve done before (I can’t listen to Best Left on headphones because the stereo effects make me feel woozy, but it sounds great in a room. This is an issue I have with albums from Dimmer and Low as well which will show up. ), while 2am improves on the dream pop elements of Jump Rope Gazers.
The lyrics in Expert in a Dying Field make me feel very strong feelings. Being able to express something that is so widely felt in a brand new way is really impressive. It reminds me of this poem by Hera Lindsay Bird, which explores a similar but much nicer version of knowing someone so well.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was to end up as their biggest song.
I’ll come back to them a couple more times so I’ll save more for then. The Beths deserve all their hype.
Fave songs: Expert in a Dying Field, Silence is Golden, If told you I was afraid