Beachwood Sparks: The Tarnished Gold – review

(Sub Pop)

The LA quartet Beachwood Sparks are a band out of time, in two senses. First, their third album comes the best part of 11 years since their last. Second, their music is so tied to the southern California of the late 60s and early 70s that it's hard not to imagine the songs as outtakes from the Easy Rider soundtrack. Curiously, though, that makes them feel more current than they did first time around: Beachwood Sparks are bathed in same the hazy, tinted nostalgia that powers Tumblr and Instagram. It helps, too, that Tarnished Gold is of a piece with their first two albums, but never a pale imitation. Earl Jean combines country rhythms with soft jangle of electric guitars, like the Byrds in their Clarence White era; Talk About Lonesome sounds like a ballad Neil Young wrote for Johnny Cash in 1972, then forgot about. The mariachi diversion No Queremos Oro is a little puzzling, but the rest's a summery shimmer of pleasure.

Contributor

Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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