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- Release Date 02 November 2018
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- Vinyl LP
Beacon’s third full-length record enters sight as a work of meticulous revision and refraction. Returning home to New York in 2016, four years and several tours since the duo's ﬁrst release with Ghostly International, Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett knew the next direction would be different. Together they embarked on open-ended sessions, adopting a more linear style of songwriting compared to their previous loop and texture-driven method. They fundamentally constructed demos from piano chords and guitar phrases with vocal melodies, editing iterations almost ad inﬁnitum, looking through each from a multitude of angles. Compositions expanded, while others pared back to where they began. Like the bending of light, this abstractive and patient process outlines a space and scale in which seemingly separate colors — minimalist ballads, elaborate pop spirituals, and four-on-the-ﬂoor dance sequences — can coexist at different speeds, fanning out with spectral cohesion. A prismatic collection Beacon call Gravity Pairs.
“All matter is created by dividing gravity into pairs,” said 20th-century scientific-mystic Walter Russell, whose idiosyncratic “new world-thought” writings and musically-informed schematic drawings were as fringe in their time as they are fascinating. Mullarney details the concept further: "’Gravity Pairs’ is how Walter Russell describes the rhythmic order of the universe. I kept reading 'pairs' as both a noun and verb; simultaneously the elemental units of Russell’s balanced universe and the process that brings us together." This curiosity of natural phenomena shines through the album’s kaleidoscopic artwork — dichroic glass prisms photographed by the band themselves — and its lyrics, most directly through the narrative device of light.
With each iterative breakthrough, Beacon expanded the spectrum of these recordings as well as their possibilities in the live setting. The material can be played straight or in previous variations, enhanced by the recent addition of a drummer to their live band. Another epiphany came in the spring of 2017 when Beacon joined Tycho at Coachella and for dates in Europe, with Mullarney experimenting as the band’s ﬁrst ever vocalist. “Just doing things at that scale, and at that point in the record, was really validating,” says Mullarney. “We came back with conﬁdence to ﬁnally ﬁnish the record.”
Two models exemplifying this mode are “Be My Organ” and “On Ice.” The latter is a smoke-ﬁlled still-life. Notes arpeggiate along a cool, motorik beat as Mullarney repeats “you’re not moving,” his vocals vaporized and echoed. The former elevates on a percussive build, reaching its peak in the ﬁnal strobe-lit minute. Then there’s a late album ﬂourish, “The Road,” which, through pinwheeling repetitions beamed into four-on-the-ﬂoor framework — from Tycho drummer Rory O'Connor — folds vibrating wavelengths into a symphony of fragmentary energies.
Russell, the mystic, believed in balance, a rhythmic exchange “between all pairs of opposite expressions.” On Gravity Pairs, Beacon channel the philosophy with pure pop mystique, slicing through dense and foggy dance and electronic music apparatuses to create something familiar but unique, melodic but cathartic. Rippling through these songs are iridescent synthesizer lines, stoic piano phrasing, dazzling percussion, posh harpsichord, understated xylophone, and a crisp voice in complete control. Taken as a whole, in their various combinations and compressions, these complementary and secondary tones unlock the lushest ﬁeld of color, a universe of light.
|1||Don’t Go Looking|
|2||Be My Organ|
|3||Losing My Mind|
|9||Over My Head|
|10||The War You’re After|
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- Gravity Pairs
- CD Album
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