Beams is a Canadian band out of Toronto comprised of six members who have been making music together and touring for over a decade. They take their name from the architectural term: the beams that support a building. Each member—Martin Crawford (electric guitars, lap steel), Mike Duffield (drums), Keith Hamilton (vibraphone, singing saw, vocals), Heather Mazhar (vocals), and Craig Moffat (bass)—had been leading and playing in various bands in the scene when Anna Mernieks ignited a catalyzing spark: Beams was born, formed around her songwriting and lead vocals. Mike and Anna are now the Mernieks-Duffields, and the rest of the band’s bonds to each other are so strong, they might as well have put on rings at the same time as this marriage. To whet appetites for an LP that is waiting in the wings, appease long-time and patient fans, and reintroduce the band to a public perpetually skipping along the surface of the Internet, they’ve released The Spark in Your Eye, a three-song EP selected from 13 songs written in lockdown and then recorded live together with Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Real Estate) at Marcata Recording in the Hudson Valley of New York.
These three new songs give an appealing taste of their new sound-world; they’re strong enough to stand on their own, but they don’t steal any thunder from what’s in the can for the carefully sequenced next full-length. On the new set, levitating vibraphone, warm purring amps, glinting guitars, and the strains of a ghostly violin weave a hypnotic sound-world that engenders a sense of hushed intimacy with the listener, something akin to that breathless, timeless moment before a first kiss. This is preparatory work for the EP’s guiding principle, which is to make room for joy in music. “We have every right to be angry and sad,” the band announces. “But this is our life. If we live in a constant state of reaction to all of the fear-mongering, then the powers that spread those messages around are winning. We have to fight and make spaces to feel joy and love and community. We have to fight isolation, fight being driven into despair.”
“Darkly spellbinding” -American Songwriter
“Every note is clean, purposeful and well-constructed” -Exclaim!
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Kate Bush, Natalie Prass, Laura Marling, Happy Hollows, Ani DiFranco
Goes For Adds 8/22