There’s been a big push recently in the indie music scene for minimalist, vaguely R&B inspired, experimental electronic music. We’ve seen it from big names like Purity Ring and The XX, and now in lesser known, but by no means less worth listening to, bands such as Beacon. Composed of Brooklyn’s Thomas Mullarney and Jacob Gossett, Beacon released their first musical material last year in the form of two EP’s, both equally simple and stripped down thematic efforts. The Ways We Separate follows in their footsteps as an amplification of these traits, with interesting yet subtle music to fill your speakers.
Opening the album is “Bring You Back,” a single-esque track that introduces the band’s sound quite effortlessly. What begins as a simple electronic soundscape develops into a four minute, eighteen second track with a hooking chorus line for you to sing along to while you groove to the backing electronics. The high-pitched vocals juxtapose nicely with the deeper tones of the beat, to create a swirling combination that evens itself out. The track may seem mild, but it gives you a solid idea of what you are embarking upon in The Ways We Separate: an exploration of minimalism to describe and encapsulate some of the deepest emotions that are felt in love and loss. Such is felt through the deep lyrics that persistently attempt to iterate all the ‘ways’ as mentioned in the album title. Song after song is filled with little gems of lines that all abide by the same theme, collectively adding up to an album that meanders through the dark electronic
Though it tends to be on the meeker spectrum of music, there are some songs on here that make for solid dance numbers. Take the second track “Feeling’s Gone,” which starts on the same simple note as the song prior to it, but doesn’t stay as still as “Bring You Back” does. Towards the end of the track, you get this great little instrumental dance interlude that could easily be utilized on a dance floor to get your body moving.
However, instances such as this are not abundant on The Ways We Separate, leaving for a pretty one-note album, though a good one note. Some nuances can be appreciated and observed, while others seem to blur together in the overall scope of its length, which could potentially turn some listeners away from repeated listens.