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Beams Stopping at Northside Tavern

Photo Cred: Desiree Das Gupta

Toronto-based sextet Beams will play Northside Tavern on May 19th in support of their captivating new album Requiem for a Planet!

Beams is: Martin Crawford (electric guitars, lap steel), Mike Duffield (drums), Keith Hamilton (vibraphone, singing saw, vocals), Heather Mazhar (vocals), Anna Mērnieks-Duffield (lead vocals), and Craig Moffat (bass).

“‘Requiem’ is about grieving the loss of the ‘planet’ we were promised as kids. One where it seemed like we were collectively working to create a more positive future for all, and being faced with the reality that this is simply not true. It’s also about acceptance of this fact, and finding a way to dream up and realize better futures,” explains lead vocalist/songwriter Anna Mērnieks-Duffield. “We have every right to be angry and sad. But this is our life. If we live in a constant state of reaction to all of the fear-mongering, then the powers that spread those messages around are winning. We have to fight and make spaces to feel joy and love and community.”

Recorded by Kevin S. McMahon (Swans, Real Estate, Titus Andronicus) at Marcata Recording—a 200-year-old barn at the base of the Shawangunk mountains in New Paltz, NY—Requiem is one of those spaces, and a world unto itself. Hypnotic vibraphone, purring amps, glistening guitars, and the pull of ghostly violin strings weave intoxicating soundscapes that create a sense of singular intimacy with the listener. There are clear psych-folk and post-rock influences, and much attention was paid to creating a mood, capturing interesting tones, and sustaining an immersive atmosphere. Thematically, Beams have always made music that contemplates both the darkness and the light of the places in which we find ourselves.