© 2022 90.5 WESA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

In The Beths' Euphoric 'Little Death,' Love Can Make You Fly

You could spend two hours, five days or 10 years with somebody and still your heart beats a little faster, the world moves a little bit slower... you die a little bit because that person alters your being. At first it's infatuation, but over time, vulnerabilities become exposed like roots coming above ground — you're both still the same old mess tangled together, still learning how to love well.

The Beths' impressive debut, Future Me Hates Me, is full of self-doubt but also recklessly open to love, run through with impeccably written guitar-pop songs. Perhaps singer, songwriter and guitarist Elizabeth Stokes is thinking about new love, but "Little Death" can extend its excitement beyond starry-eyed crushes to long-term lovers.

Premiering here with a charming video made while the Auckland, New Zealand band was on tour, "Little Death" is wound like a heart clutched tight.

"[The director] Norwood [Cheek] hit us up saying, 'I made videos for Superchunk in the '90s, let me make a Super 8 video for you guys when you're in L.A.,'" Stokes tells NPR Music. "So we spent a day larking about and scratching on film and then he edited it up. It's difficult to tell, but if you look closely you can see there is some green-screen footage and special effects added afterwards."

With frenetic guitar riffs and restless drumming, "Little Death" revs to a pop-punk euphoria ("And you say my name / My legs support a little less / My tongue becomes a little mess / My lips are longing to confess"). But in the fluttering maelstrom, Stokes is cool and confident, her voice cutting through an arrangement ready to burst, to "die a little bit" and fly away on hand sparklers.

Future Me Hates Meis out now via Carpark Records (physical,digital). The Beths go on aU.S. tourstarting Sept. 28.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Listen to the Viking's Choice playlist, subscribe to the newsletter.