Today we are excited to share a brand new song and video from a new(-ish) band out of Bristol, Rhode Island. Beta Days, the new project from ex-The Wandas member Bill Bierce is set to release their first proper full length LP (titled S.T.T.) as Beta Days on June 23rd, full of contemplative lyrics and a sound of the heartland.
While Beta Days may be a new band to us, they just released the first single,”This Art Ain’t Mine” a few weeks ago, this project actually began over 3 years ago. The story goes: ‘Beta Days evolved from multi-instrumentalist, Bill Bierce’s, late night writing sessions that would start around 3AM. Fighting isolation, lack of sleep, and depression, Bierce battled through ups and downs to write and record enough material for a full length LP, S.T.T. Sadly, Bierce’s mother passed away during the album’s mixing, while simultaneously his father occupied a long-term hospice stay from a head wound which left him in a vegetative state. Everything was once again cast into doubt, but Bierce stayed the course and completed the record.’
It’s those trials and tribulations that pushed Bill onward as he worked his way through these songs, leaving the album with an end result as a hazy reflection on idealized youth, relationships, isolation, and adult life. Bill’s pensive, yet evasive lyrics and tightly arranged instrumentation conjure up a mix of familiarity, with immediate images of Wilco coming to mind, or the heartfelt songs of Dr. Dog, or even at times the swirling breezy feeling that Real Estate brings to the table, bringing it all together as Beta Days, a band you’ll definitely want to keep tabs on.
On the second single, “Settled For Gold”, it’s the dreamy electric guitar that hits you straight from the start, going into an upbeat, yet downtrodden rhythm before jumping into a haunting chorus that sucks you into Beta Days’ world. Said Bierce: “In this song I used the “Jonny Greenwood trick”, which is putting a ton of delay and reverb on the guitar and scratching the strings with a coin to make a haunting string-pad type of sound. You can hear it in the choruses and at the end of the song. I’m not very good at this technique and it took a whole bunch of takes to get it right, leading to a barrage of loud expletives Andrew [Bierce’s friend and producer] had to endure. I think this song has a kind of cool, dry, pensive mood to it and I’m proud of the instrumental work. I sometimes muted all the vocals during mixing and just zoned out to the instrumental.”