Album Review: Beacon’s For Now EP

Beacon

For Now EP

Ghostly International Records

Release Date: October 2, 2012

 

Track Listing

1.     It Won’t Be Long

2.     Safety’s Off

3.     Pulse

4.     Feeling’s Gone

5.     Into the Night

Personnel

Thomas Mullarney III – vocals

Jacob Gossett – synths, electronics

 

The five tracks on the Brooklyn based duo, Beacon’s latest EP, For Now continues the group’s exploration of the dark spaces beneath the surface of human relationships, mostly through the contemplation of broken and failed relationships. And it shouldn’t be surprising that the album’s cool arpeggio-led synths and overall minimalist feel create a sense of haunting, anxious dread and regret, as though reminding the listener that some ghosts do indeed linger – and linger in unexpected, unsettling and obsessive ways.

   In tone, I suspect that some critics will compare Beacon’s efforts favorable to those of Washed Out, St. Lucia, Zambri and others, and for the obvious similarities between these acts, there are differences – in some way, all of the acts are inspired by 80s and 90s synth pop. However, in the case of Beacon their influences include hip hop and R&B and trance. “It Won’t Be Long,” is backed by deep, throbbing bass, finger snapping and glistening snyth lines. “Safety’s Off,” with it’s cool arpeggios and swirling ambient electronics feels like a dreamy and ominous version of a track off Washed Out’s excellent Within Without. “Pulse,” and “Into the Night,” are perhaps the most straightforward R&B songs as their hooks sounds like slowed down covers of a familiar, R&B tune with swirling and buzzing electronics.

  Mullarney lyrics, which often suggest the fading of love, the festering and confusing feelings of lust and desire, are sung with a falsetto that sounds much like a wisp of smoke floating and dissipating. For me, this album suggests the strangely empty feeling of a relationship now irrevocably and implausibly lost – and in a way that feels all too familiar. It’s a hauntingly ominous album that manages to burrow into the dark places of regret, temptation and obsession.