Download A Free Song From Bethan's Debut Release.
In some ways, Jessi James already had this moment.
In the fall of 2010, she and Central Track contributor Blake Panter found themselves on the receiving end of all sorts of local praise upon the release of their debut dream-pop album under the name of Novaak. The following spring, the twosome's music was well-received enough to the point where their name almost universally appeared on the local music press' “Acts to Watch” lists for the the 2011 version of 35 Denton (then the 35 Conferette).
But, then, just a few weeks removed from the band's highly regarded Denton offering, James quit Novaak. She wanted to try out a new, even artier direction, and she'd started working with New York-based producer Roger Greenawalt, the man who “discovered” Ben Kweller. She called the new art-pop project Bethan, signed with local music entity Spune and spent, oh, about a year or so tweaking the songs and filling out her backing band. For good measure, she also got married to drummer Daniel Hall.
And that pretty much brings us to present day, and to the talented vocalist's second go at a fresh start. Yesterday, Spune released Chapter 1, Bethan's seven-song debut EP. It's a predictable arty release — so much so that it sometimes trips over its pleasant enough self in the process of trying to sound unique and different. This much, however, is certain: Chapter 1 is an undoubtedly interesting listen, with sonic twists and turns aplenty. As such, it's near impossible to be bored by the album. Lead single “Vague,” which Bethan and the folks at Spune have been kind enough to pass along to Central Track readers as a free download, embodies these traits well, with its undulating bass line, its clever use of found sounds and its front-and-center placement of James' vocals.
Grab the song below, and then head over to Dada tonight to catch James celebrate the new release as she and her band open for touring headliners Tennis.