Two years after their debut album Future Me Hates Me, local indie-pop band The Beths returned with their second album Jump Rope Gazers.
The band has had a bit of a rise since Future Me Hates Me, with them having a song nominated for the Silver Scrolls, winning Best Group at the New Zealand Music Awards, and selling out the Powerstation when lockdown restrictions were lifted.
Even though faced with the momentous task to catch its predecessor, Jump Rope Gazers certainly did not disappoint and deserves some of the spotlight for its own. It was already promising before the main release, with singles Dying to Believe, I’m Not Getting Excited, and Out of Sight retaining the harmony between Elizabeth Stokes’ lyrics and vocals, Jonathan Pearce’s guitar, Benjamin Sinclar’s bass, and drums from Tristian Deck, which made The Beths a wonder to listen to.
The rest of the album is a compilation of nostalgic ballards and energetic, upbeat songs, from the fast-paced “Don’t Go Away” and “Mars, the God of War”, to finishing off with a softer, sweeter “You Are a Beam of Light” and “Just Shy of Sure”. The title track, which Stokes said was about falling in love, consisted of a beautifully-sung chorus and is probably the best track outside of the singles. Other than its vocals, the drums and the guitar strongly reminded me of 1970s Dunedin Sound songs that first caught my attention to the New Zealand indie scene.
This is a really exciting album to lift our spirits during a pandemic, and it’s also a reminder that we do have some good music made in this city.
9/10: Plus 1 for a Rose Matafeo cameo