The Beths | Expert In A Dying Field

The Beths | Expert In A Dying Field

LP

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Carpark Records
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CAK164LP

On canary yellow vinyl.

The third LP from the New Zealand quartet houses 12 jewels of tight, guitar-heavy songs that worm their way into your head, an incandescent collision of power-pop and skuzz. With Expert, The Beths wanted to make an album meant to be experienced live, for both the listeners and themselves. They wanted it to be fun — to hear, to play — in spite of the prickling anxiety throughout the lyrics, the fear of change and struggle to cope.

Most of Expert was recorded at guitarist Jonathan Pearce’s studio on Karangahape Road in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand) — and sometimes in the building’s cavernous stairwell at 1am — toward the end of 2021, until they were interrupted by a four-month national lockdown. They traded notes remotely for months, songwriting from afar and fleshing out the arrangements alone, the first time they’d written together in such a way. The following February, The Beths left the country for the first time in more than two years to tour across the US, and simultaneously finish mixing the album on the road. That latter half felt more collaborative, with everyone on-hand to trade notes in real time, until it all culminated in a chaotic three-day studio mad-dash in Los Angeles. There, Expert finally became the record they were hearing in their heads.

Expert is an extension of the same skuzzy palette the band has built across their catalog, pop hooks embedded in incisive indie rock. The album’s title track “Expert In A Dying Field” introduces the thesis for the record: “How does it feel to be an expert in a dying field? How do you know it’s over when you can’t let go?” Stokes asks. “Love is learned over time ‘til you’re an expert in a dying field.”

01. Expert In A Dying Field
02. Knees Deep
03. Silence Is Golden
04. Your Side
05. I Want To Listen
06. Head In The Clouds
07. Best Left
08. Change In The Weather
09. When You Know You Know
10. A Passing Rain
11. I Told You That I Was Afraid
12. 2am