Beverly – The Blue Swell (Album Review)

by Steven Spoerl


Editor’s Note: There’s been a month-long gap in coverage, thanks to near-incessant travel and other extenuating circumstances. The following run of posts that contain this note will be posts that should have appeared sometime within the past several weeks. Use these posts as an opportunity to catch up to the present release cycle or to simply discover some new music. Either way, enjoy.

When Beverly first started making some waves, a lot of the credit was unfairly being siphoned from Drew Citron and given to Frankie Rose but, following Rose’s departure from the band, it’s been abundantly clear that this has been Citron’s project all along. The project’s latest record, The Blue Swell, follows the breakout success of Careers with grace and panache. The surf inflections have been honed, the retro-leaning bubblegum pop influence has been sharpened, and The Blue Swell comes off as an irrepressible statement of artistry.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, as Beverly is now squarely Citron’s project, the vision of The Blue Swell congeals in a manner that’s far more unified than its still-impressive predecessor. Everything here is also sequenced beautifully, allowing the records strongest cuts to land with maximum impact. One of those highlights comes early by way of the Byrds-ian jangle of “Crooked Cop”, which the band rightfully ran as an early single.

Everything else on The Blue Swell benefits from placement while simultaneously building and/or sustaining the record’s momentum. There simply aren’t any weak tracks on the record, each one boasting the same kind of carefree summery qualities that turned Carefree into a sleeper hit. By the time the climactic finale of The Blue Swell rolls around, most listeners will likely have already lost themselves to the record’s susceptive spell. Dissect everything and The Blue Swell holds up as an exceptional piece of craft, simply let it wash over you and it quickly becomes one of the most charming records of the first half of 2016. 

Listen to The Blue Swell below and order a copy from Kanine here.