You could spend two hours, five days or 10 years with somebody and still your heart beats a little faster, the world moves a little bit slower... you die a little bit because that person alters your being. At first it's infatuation, but over time, vulnerabilities become exposed like roots coming above ground — you're both still the same old mess tangled together, still learning how to love well.
The Beths' impressive debut, Future Me Hates Me, is full of self-doubt but also recklessly open to love, run through with impeccably written guitar-pop songs. Perhaps singer, songwriter and guitarist Elizabeth Stokes is thinking about new love, but "Little Death" can extend its excitement beyond starry-eyed crushes to long-term lovers.
Premiering here with a charming video made while the Auckland, New Zealand band was on tour, "Little Death" is wound like a heart clutched tight.
"[The director] Norwood [Cheek] hit us up saying, 'I made videos for Superchunk in the '90s, let me make a Super 8 video for you guys when you're in L.A.,'" Stokes tells NPR Music. "So we spent a day larking about and scratching on film and then he edited it up. It's difficult to tell, but if you look closely you can see there is some green-screen footage and special effects added afterwards."
With frenetic guitar riffs and restless drumming, "Little Death" revs to a pop-punk euphoria ("And you say my name / My legs support a little less / My tongue becomes a little mess / My lips are longing to confess"). But in the fluttering maelstrom, Stokes is cool and confident, her voice cutting through an arrangement ready to burst, to "die a little bit" and fly away on hand sparklers.
Future Me Hates Me is out now via Carpark Records (physical, digital). The Beths go on a U.S. tour starting Sept. 28.