Since the summer of 2014 and the release of Careers, which Stereogum dubbed an “exceptional shoegaze-pop debut album,” the main driving force behind Beverly has been Drew Citron. While Beverly began as a recording project between two friends, The Blue Swell (out May 6, 2016 on Kanine Records) represents a fresh start for the band.
What do you do when your original writing partner up and moves to Los Angeles upon album release? You quickly form a new live touring band. And when you live in Bushwick in 2014 and you build and run indie rock venue Alphaville, that’s easy to do. You even turn your two person project into a full blown rock band with energetic live shows. Then, you tour - across America and Europe - up and down the east coast and add in a few trips to the midwest. All the while, you never stop writing and collaborating.
On The Blue Swell, Citron’s main collaborator is longtime tour mate and noise pop producer Scott Rosenthal (The Beets, Crystal Stilts), with Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) lending co-writing talents to Victoria. Careers is acclaimed for its “fuzzed distortion and melodic sugar” (Rolling Stone) and its variety, with Pitchfork noting how it “careens from venomous, angry punk to jangly, mild lust to blown-out emotional hangover.” While you’ll still find reverb, catchy hooks and a track or two like Bulldozer or South Collins that could perhaps fit into the debut, the new album takes a less aggressive and more melodic turn.
Lead single "Crooked Cop", a dreamy allegory about deceit and confusion, sounds like a female fronted Teenage Fanclub. A direct hit like "Contact" is juxtaposed with the pretty and more leisurely "The Smokey Pines". Citron says, “It wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision to create - or not create - a new sound, but changes were inevitable, and we’re working harder than ever to get at what we love about good songs, what we can do with them, and how they can connect to people.” The album is, in some respects, bolder, more playful yet more grounded. The Blue Swell was not conceived by two friends taking a piss on the road; it was lovingly crafted by a band putting down roots. It marks a new beginning for Beverly.