Bayonet Records (2017) US
The long-awaited return of Brooklyn's Beach Fossils, Somersault showcases a band in bloom. Charting into new musical territory with a refined songwriting style, it's an album that captures flashes of life in New York grounded in personal experience.
As the band's first release on Dustin Payseur's new label Bayonet Records, which he co-owns with wife Kate Garcia - the group made the most of their newfound independence, investing ample time in expanding its range both musically and lyrically. While Payseur handled the bulk of the songwriting duties in the past, Somersault is a true collaboration between the founding member and bandmates, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson. Augmented with more complex instrumentation, including string arrangements, piano, harpsichord, flute, and sax, the new songs offer multi-layered pop guided by sharp, poignant, and honest lyrics.
Orchestral pop gem "Saint Ivy" shines with plucked strings, buoyant basslines and a propulsive, wayward, guitar. "Tangerine", a driving, tightly wound melody, rushes forward and briefly leaves the ground due to the gossamer guest vocals of Slowdive's Rachel Goswell. The cloudy, wistful "Social Jetlag," bustling with samples of crowded streets, features the type of candid, off-the-cuff lyrics that make the entire effort immediately illuminating.
Somersault evokes the laid-back mood of a warm, breezy city night, the air crackling with humidity and excitement. These songs pulse and pull, capturing a blend of promise and heartache. It's beautiful and layered, a refined, sweeping creation that threads together numerous styles, textures, and themes into a refreshing, singular vision.