As we move forward into not only a new year, but a new decade, there is, inevitably, a period of reflection of the last- a sometimes strange and fast moving era for music, that saw indie rock begin at the absolute height of critical consciousness, before fading in buzz in more recent years. Of all of the subsets of ’00s indie, the lo-fi, poppy, dreamy stylings of artists like Mac Demarco, Wild Nothing, DIIV, and the like remains one of the most enduring musical movements, and there’s no denying that Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils were and remain an integral fixture of that scene. While we await a followup to their lush and layered 2017 third LP Somersault, the band are out for a run which brings them back to town for the first time since that same year tonight, Jan. 30 at The Basement East with buzzy LA electronic pop singer Negative Gemini. A seriously cool show for fans of modern indie (and those of us already starting to get nostalgic for the ’00s), tickets are still available right here while they last. Read on for more about the show!
Considering their enduring and beloved status in the modern indie scene, it feels like Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils don’t quite get their due credit as one of the seminal acts of the early ’00s indie wave, a movement that, as we reflect back from the start of the 20s, still bears a strong influence of the chilled out, dreamy, lo-fi indie scene of now (and has propelled peers like Mac Demarco to surprisingly high heights). Formed in 2009 as a solo vehicle for frontman Dustin Payseur, Beach Fossils quickly grew into a full band, albeit one with something of a revolving door of backing players, by the time of their eponymous 2010 debut, initially including Cole Smith and John Peña, who left to form DIIV and Heavenly Beat, respectively. Incorporating elements of indie, pop, surf, and shoegaze, the band’s debut adopted a lo-fi, breezy, homegrown sound, which evolved into a more polished, post-punk, textured approach for their sophomore LP, 2013’s Clash the Truth. Despite a huge wave of buzz, the group took their time with 2017’s third and most recent LP Somersault, touring intermittently in the interim, and even popping up on short-lived HBO series Vinyl to portray members of a fictional ’70s punk band, The Nasty Bits. Their most collaborative effort to date- bringing Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson, both of whom have rounded out the trip since 2012, into the mix- Somersault, released through Payseur’s on Bayonet Records, is also Beach Fossils’ most ambitious, incorporating more layered, complex instrumentation and polished songwriting, proving them firmly capable of transcending their lo-fi roots. This marks the band’s second Nashville show this album cycle, and though no official news on LP4 has been revealed, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the ramp-up in activity means it won’t be long (and that some new material might show up in their set). Regardless, Beach Fossils are a vibey, cool, and transcendent live act who only make their way to town every few years, so this a must-see for fans of layered, thoughtful, contemporary indie!
LA based by way of Brooklyn (and before that, Richmond, VA, where this writer and VCU dropout remembers her very DIY early electro-rap group from a decade ago- but I digress), etherial, dreamy, indie electronic artist Negative Gemini has been cultivating her impossibly cool and frequently buzzed out sound for the better part of the last decade. The musical alias of singer, songwriter, and producer Lindsey French, the project has evolved from more DIY early work to extremely contemporary (and often futuristic, though still sometimes indebted to retro techno), layered, and dynamic electronic pop polish, not a far shot from off-kilter, stylish, and sonically distinct artists like Grimes. After exiting Richmond due a lack of a meaningful electronic scene, French flourished in Brooklyn, where Negative Gemini first got the eye of tastemaking outlets like Paper, Nylon, and Pitchfork thanks to a series of promising LPs, singles, remixes, and EPs (2018’s Bad Baby the most recent). Now based in Los Angeles, a fitting home for her vibey, multimedia flair, Negative Gemini continues to capture more and more attention, and if you’ve missed her prior stops in Nashville (including just a few months ago at Basement East with Kero Kero Bonito), this unique artist belongs on your radar immediately!
Beach Fossils and Negative Gemini will perform tonight, Jan. 30 at The Basement East. The show is 18+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $18.