Album Review – Beams – The Spark in Your Eye EP

Emerging from the bustling sonic landscape of Toronto, Beams has long been known for their meticulously crafted soundscapes. Now, a decade into their journey, the six-piece band whets our musical appetites with “The Spark In Your Eye,” a prelude to their eagerly anticipated LP. Released on August 4, 2023, this three-song EP embodies the collective’s indomitable spirit in these challenging times, urging us to seek joy and camaraderie in music.

Recorded live with Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Real Estate) at Marcata Recording in New York’s Hudson Valley, the EP encapsulates the delicate balance of intimacy and grandeur that defines Beams. Each track blooms with levitating vibraphone, warm purring amps, glinting guitars, and ghostly violin strains, all interlacing to create a hypnotic, immersive sound world. This tapestry of sound evokes the breathless anticipation of a first kiss, a moment that’s at once ephemeral and timeless.

“The Spark In Your Eye” is an exemplification of the band’s ethos – fighting despair and embracing joy, love, and community. It’s a direct response to the anxiety-inducing world that’s constantly buzzing around us, reminding us to resist the constant state of reaction and fear.

The EP’s standout track, “Take Back Ten,” reflects this very sentiment, accompanied by a visually stunning music video directed by Beth Warrian. It’s a warm, engrossing tune that feels like a beam of sunlight piercing through a gray sky, representing the collective’s commitment to injecting joy and positivity into their music. It’s an immersive sonic experience that drives listeners away from the isolation and despair of the current times.

Following the release, Beams will embark on a much-anticipated tour, carrying the EP’s uplifting message to various cities in Canada and the US. The tour will kick off in Windsor, ON, at Meteor on August 3, followed by performances in Cincinnati, Louisville, Detroit, and their home city, Toronto, among others. The tour will wrap up in Catskill, NY, at The Avalon Lounge on September 10, promising an energizing, communal experience for the audience, much like the EP itself.

At a brisk 10 minutes and 24 seconds, “The Spark In Your Eye” might seem brief, but it’s dense with emotion and musical complexity. Each of the three tracks carries the listener on a journey, not only into Beams’ distinctive sound world but also into a space that encourages introspection and the exploration of joy in everyday moments. It’s a testament to the band’s unwavering ability to create profound, intimate music that resonates deeply with listeners.

“The Spark In Your Eye” is more than just an EP – it’s a statement from Beams, a declaration that despite the world’s uncertainty, there’s room for joy, love, and community. It’s a heartfelt plea to reject the fear-mongering messages that so often dominate our lives. It stands as a testament to the band’s unwavering belief in music as a transformative and unifying force.

With this EP, Beams have set the stage for their upcoming LP, giving their longtime and patient fans a taste of what’s to come. It serves as a compelling reminder of their musical prowess, their commitment to fostering community, and their unwavering belief in the transformative power of music. “The Spark In Your Eye” is a powerful sonic experience, a compelling argument for joy and unity in these troubled times, and a shining testament to Beams’ place in the contemporary music landscape.

Tour dates:

08/03 – Windsor, ON @ Meteor

08/04 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR

08/05 – Louisville, KY @ The Chapel of St. Philip de Neri (early)

08/05 – Louisville, KY @CAMP Social Club (late)

08/17 – Detroit, MI @ House Show

08/18 – Toronto, ON @ The Baby G0

8/19 – London, ON @ Palasad Bowl

09/07 – Ithaca, NY @ The Upstairs

09/08 – Worchester, MA @ Distant Castle

09/10 – Catskill, NY @ The Avalon Lounge

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