On their latest album, The Beths show no fear.
The Beths show no fear on their first album to hit Spotify, Future Me Hates Me. Coming off their 2016 EP, the New Zealand band showcases the strides it’s taken to establish its sound and prepare for its first international tour. The album demonstrates a rawness and startling, first-person confessional style that any listener can relate to. “Future Me Hates Me,” the album’s title track, highlights this overarching theme with its somehow-cheery lament on all the mistakes we’re preemptively apologizing for.
In truth, most of the album works this fine line between lyrical despair and musical energy worth dancing to, much like the work of Courtney Barnett. “You Wouldn’t Like Me” illustrates the odd contradictions of this theme as it opens with rhythmic clapping and the line “I have made a mess of late.” The songs at times blend together in their thematic similarity, but some, such as “Little Death,” stand out in their strength and singularity. In this song, the opening is near-haunting with the sound of soft chimes, and the lyrics bring a clarity and poetic brilliance that could demand anyone’s attention. Elizabeth Strokes, the band’s singer and main songwriter writes, “My balance takes a little rest/My conscience hung under duress/My twitching fingers do their best/To keep their wandering selves in check.” Strokes delivers the lines as declarations to resonate with all who have felt what her simple eloquence depicts.
The Beths and Future Me Hates Me serve as refreshing reminders that we can be in touch with our emotions and still persist with optimism and energy. Even beyond the music, the band demonstrates its love of the odd: the home screen of their website is a modified game of 2048 with gifs of each band member’s face as the tiles. The album, despite – and thanks to – its offbeat nature, is on a path to be one of my favorite indie-rock debuts of 2018. Somehow, Future Me Hates Me is the album I want to dance and sing to at my best and precisely the antidote for any darker days to come.