Updated: May 6, 2019
Written by Jose Benjamin Montaño
“I think I always really loved pop music,”
Beau confesses. “Pop can be so open to interpretation, and so many kinds of noises can happen.”
In, fish songs, their last EP, this sentiment definitely rings true. The catchy, lingering melodies of the pop formula become distorted, phased through vocal pedals and enveloped in codeine-like backing tracks that doze in and out of the mix, while a crunchy percussion keeps the beat.
From song to song, this variety is also evident. While some hooks are sung in a high, wispy register, others are carried by a grave rumble, dominating from a few octaves beneath. When prompted to elaborate on whether it had been a conscious choice to confuse listeners they replied, “Something about being on the extremes makes me feel like I am expressing more of myself.”
However, although some of the experimental pop aesthetic is characteristic of their music, the punk/DIY mentality is also certainly prevalent in the way they approach production and performance. Early on, Beau, constructed their own synthesizers and played live gigs to showcase their craft. In this way, as they noted, the process of becoming more comfortable playing live was sped up, by not first having to worry too much about “doing something wrong.”
“Something about being on the extremes makes me feel like I am expressing more of myself.”
Inevitably, our conversation soon turned to politics. We briefly spoke about the current American landscape, and of the dangers that exist in “over-politicizing” music. When I asked if their music had changed within the past year or so, they responded, “There are definitely political threads throughout my music but I wouldn’t say that they’re necessarily connected to current events, because I kind of see our current political situation as something that’s been affecting me my whole life. So it exists in a political context, but maybe not one that’s breaking news.”
Listen to our full conversation recorded in Ithaca, NY below:
fish songs by Beau Mahadev is available via Bandcamp.
Catch their next show at Varsity Sex Club, November 4th, 2017.