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The Vanguard


Giver Taker
Eastlake Craft Brewery
Franconia Sculpture Park
Sep 16, 2015

Cold Beat

Less than a year after Cold Beat’s debut LP, Over Me, the band is set to releaseInto The Air on bassist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Hannah Lew’s label Crime On The Moon on September 4th. Moving past the themes of grief and loss prevalent on Over Me, Into the Air explores ideas both earthly and celestial. Some songs are attempts at describing complex emotional landscapes, while others playfully wonder about physics and astronomy, often delving off into deep fantasy. But it doesn’t stop with the personal or metaphysical. With the exodus of artists and musicians leaving San Francisco due to increased rent prices and overall cultural changes, Cold Beat has persevered through the city’s metamorphosis into a place less and less hospitable to artists. One can pick up on a sense of discontent in the face of a rapidly growing techie millionaire culture on Into The Air. There is a sense of fighting to survive. One can almost hear the struggle represented on the record as guitars face off against increasingly prevalent synths. The truth is, the formation of a more stable group — including Kyle King (guitar), Jackson Blumgart (guitar), and Susi Leni (drums) — allowed the group to begin writing more collaboratively, expanding their vocabulary to include lush synths and crisp drum machines. While the record explores a wide swathe of sonic territory — the propulsive rock hooks of “Broken Lines,” the trance electronics of “Cracks,” the ethereal abstraction of “Clouds” — it seamlessly transitions between modes, all anchored by Lew’s distinctive glassy vocals. Into The Air is a compelling and coherent document of a band just beginning to push their limits, unafraid to embrace experimentation in the service of their vision.

Cold Beat


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