Baby's NYE 2018 ~+ Beach Fossils
Hoops, Clairo, Chorizo
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
This event is 21 and over
Beach Fossils began in 2009 as the solo project of Dustin Payseur. Before and after the 2010 release of the S/T debut LP and 2011's What A Pleasure EP, they performed around the world with a lineup that once featured Cole Smith (DIIV) and John Peña (Heavenly Beat). They quickly became known for their highly energetic stage show, bringing the recorded work to a volume and tempo that would make even the indie-est of crowds wind up in a frenzy. With the exception of drummer Tommy Gardner, that lineup dissolved to pursue their ambitions with the aforementioned projects. Wanting to bridge the gap between the live and recorded aspects of the band, Dustin began writing Clash the Truth determined to capture the urgency, human flow and spontaneity of the live performance.
Now with a full time drummer (and co-writer of two tracks on the LP) Beach Fossils entered the studio in the fall of 2012 with producer Ben Greenberg of The Men. Instead of merely going from a "bedroom DiY" project to a "better fidelity studio project" the deliberate decision to work with Ben was determined to capture, if not in style, the spirit and enthusiasm of punk and aggressive music in general. To ensure that dynamic, the drums were recorded live in a room with Dustin on bass to give the album a driving and energetic force. Consider the titles "Generational Synthetic," "Caustic Cross" and "Burn You Down," it's easy to see how the record, while not a punk or post-punk record by strict definition, certainly nods to the first major influence of Dustin's creative spark. The first two notes of the title track that kick the LP off are a clear indicator of where his head was at.
The LP also sees Dustin stretching his songwriting muscles, with the acoustic Lennon-esque "Sleep Apnea" and the dreamy "In Vertigo", which features the vocals of Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead). During the recording period, the studio was flooded and destroyed by hurricane Sandy and the band had to relocate to another studio to finish the LP in earnest. It all came together when the work of legendary video artist Peter Campus was finalized to be featured throughout the release and on the striking cover. Clash the Truth marks a clear progression in the ongoing story of Beach Fossils. Drawing from the previous works' melodic strengths and uncanny guitar textures emboldened by a sound closer to their energetic and cathartic live set, it's the clear next step in the trajectory of the band and the dis-association from the home-recording boom from which it originated.
Hoops thrive in the in-between. The Indiana quartet craft hyper-melodic songs, built around power-pop chords, deceptively complex drum patterns, and rock-anthem sentiments that hide some tellingly dark thoughts. Their full-length debut, Routines, sound both warmly familiar and jarringly distinctive. A kernel of
ache lies at the heart of each verse and chorus: nothing cynical or pessimistic, just bittersweet and honest. Not knowing the right way to do things, they came up with their own way—a solid DIY philosophy. “We had an idea of how we wanted our music to sound, but we didn’t always know how to achieve it,” says
Drew Auscherman, who plays guitars and keyboards, writes and sings. “There was always some exploring and figuring things out, so it took some time to get to what we wanted to sound like.”
Hoops are a self-taught band that started in Auscherman’s teenage bedroom, where he obsessed over Oneohtrix Point Never’s landmark 2011 album Replica, to the extent that he started making his own beatdriven music. He named the project Hoops after the hoop houses at the nursery where he worked (not for his home state’s mania for basketball). Eventually he corralled a few of his friends to flesh out his songs, and the music inevitably shifted toward something new: more melodic, more guitar-driven, more
extroverted. The high schoolers played basement shows for their friends, mostly cover songs with a few originals thrown into the setlists. “We really sucked,” says Auscherman with a laugh.
“It was completely amateur, but so much fun,” adds Kevin Krauter, who plays bass and guitar and is one of Hoops’ three songwriters and singers. “We were writing songs here and there, even though none of us even knew how to write songs.” Crammed onto makeshift stages, memorizing others’ songs while developing their own, the musicians developed a buzzy chemistry that would draw them inexorably together even after they had grown up. “It was just a natural thing that we all ended up doing this together,” says James Harris, who plays drums. “We’ve always been each others’ go-to’s for band members.”
Hoops remained only a loosely defined band, with members coming and going—some lasting only one show. Eventually the current line-up settled in: Auscherman and Krauter, Harris and Keagan Beresford. (Jack Andrews, of the Bloomington band Daguerrotype, counts as an occasional touring member.) Three of
the four members write and sing, each a frontman and a sideman simultaneously. The setup isn’t democratic so much as it is simply adaptable and committed: doing what the song demands, getting the sound just right.
Their first releases—three cassettes and one EP—were recorded on four-track tape machines in living rooms and basements (their own and their parents’), with the band piecing everything together with determination and resourcefulness. Those tapes became popular well outside the Hoosier music scene, even attracting the attention of Fat Possum Records, which signed the band in 2016. “There’s a lot of trial and error and frustration,” says Beresford. “If there’s a song or even just a part of a song that you really like, then pick a vibe and shoot for it. You try to get as close as you can to what you have in mind, but you invariably fuck up along the way. But sometimes the fuck-ups are what make the songs.”
Routines marks the band’s first sessions in an actual studio—namely, Rear House Recording in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Working in that environment with Jarvis Taveniere—who co-founded the influential indie band Woods and produced albums by Widowspeak and Quilt—was initially a rocky experience, but they quickly
adapted to the new environment, the new procedures and perspectives, and most of all the new possibilities.
Those sessions, however, were just one step in the band’s careful creative process. After a few months of touring, they returned to Indiana to set up their gear in Krauter’s parents’ basement and began experimenting with the studio-recorded tracks. Some they only tinkered with, emphasizing different sounds or recording different parts. Other songs they scrapped completely and rebuilt from the ground up. They were determined to make a record that sounded like Hoops: to ensure the music sounds as rich and
nuanced on tape as it did in their heads and, as Auscherman explains, “to make sure everything catered to the song rather than the song catering to the production.”
“We’re all in the same headspace,” says Krauter. “We all have a hand in devising a sound and arranging the songs, whether we wrote them or not. First and foremost, we’re just trying to get a song to sound right, because that’s how the emotional message is going to get through.” The curiosity and perfectionism motivating those sessions in New York and especially in the Hoosier State make Routines the sharpest and clearest delineation of the Hoops sound thus far, drawing from and emphasizing each members’ distinctive influences and personal styles: four guys making music that is larger than themselves.
Chorizo (members OCDPP /Xray eyeballs/ Roya / Triple Hex/ DOM )