PHOTO: IAN PERLMAN
SONG TO DOWNLOAD "Daydream"
WEB SITE myspace.com/beachfossils
WHY THEM: On Beach Fossils' homonymous 2010 debut, frontman Dustin Payseur captured a slacker innocence familiar to anyone who found solace in Pavement's "Range Life." His melodies felt so easy they were almost frustrating, and the guitars, which worked intricate, R.E.M.-inspired harmonies around each other, propelled his sometimes off-key but always reverb-soaked vocals to a hazy forefront. Songs like "Vacation" and "Daydream" presented the disenchantment of a generation in neatly harmonized guitar-rock packages that were as pretty as they were self-aware. The songs felt raw, even when the arrangements spoke to calculation. What a Pleasure, their recent EP, takes the unintentional beauty of the debut, sharpens the hooks, and finds a tighter fit for the complexity of the arrangements. Beach Fossils have already demonstrated a capacity for growth and all of the above speaks to an approach I imagine Stephen Malkmus took in his youth. It's a slacker take on a perfectionist's craft. And it's just fun.
ALSO CONSIDERED: Hooray for Earth — Quite familiar to us in Boston, to the rest of the world Hooray for Earth are the newest synth-pop darlings. Don't be fooled: under those beautifully coiled layers of synth bliss still lies the crushing, detuned guitars we all fell in love with. True Loves is gorgeous in its expanse and a well-executed evolution of their former sound. We miss them.