Beacon is a Greenpoint, New York based duo that came to blog attention in 2011 with their R&B styled debut No Body. Since then they released their similarly R&B leaning debut The Ways We Separate (2013), decided they weren’t into R&B anymore, and released a handful of remixes in 2014 which included, Tycho’s “See”, Thomas Barford’s “Busy Baby” and Bear In Heaven’s “Kiss Me Crazy.” Now, they are back with L1, a five-track EP that sees them all but abandon any pretense for bedroom sensuality in exchange for an angst ridden and fidgety dance floor.
The band has mentioned that the record is thematically strapped to Lagrangian points, a phenomenon in gravitational physics that allows satellites to orbit planets. Much of the record finds Beacon navigating this fine line, this orbital perfection between two contrasting pulls, balancing twitching synth production with Mullarney’s angelic voice, angst ridden synths and drum claps dripping in apprehension and a shimmering vocal performance.
There is serious anxiety in this music. It’s the same sort of pulse pumping usually reserved for movies of the thriller variety. “Fault Lines” begins the record with a slow crawling synth, every measure adding another layer to the sound, waving and twisting the track as Mullarney sinisterly sings “You’ve made it this far / don’t stop.” It’s immersive and sexual; in a way you would imagine a siren’s call to be.
Throughout the EP, Beacon experiment with this formula. Dark dance electro buds around Mullarney’s voice (he is most certainly on his Thom Yorke on this release, and even gives the android stiff competition), a creeping reminder of humanity in a blackened space, quietly building into a cathartic wave awash in jittering drums and shaking synth. The duo may have tossed off the garb of between-the-sheets auteurs, but they have emerged as a group of formidable dance floor allure.
Beacon play the Echo Jan 30th. Get tickets here.
Words: Ziv Biton
Stream Beacon’s L1 EP below:
Beacon L1 Tracklisting
03. Minor Structures
04. Better Love
05. Only Us
Beacon 2015 Tour Dates:
01.22 Portland, OR @ HOLOCENE
01.23 Seattle, WA @ BARBOZA
01.24 Vancouver, BC @ ELECTRIC OWL
01.25 Spokane, WA @ THE BARLETT
01.28 San Francisco, CA @ RICKSHAW STOP
01.30 Los Angeles, CA @ THE ECHO
01.31 San Diego, CA @ CASBAH
02.12 Allston, MA @ GREAT SCOTT
02.14 Brooklyn, NY @ BABY’S ALL RIGHT
02.19 Washington, DC @ DC9
02.20.14 Philadelphia, PA @ BOOT & SADDLE