Label: Ghostly International
Matthew Dear's fifth album, Beams, is his fullest yet. As you might guess from the title, it's brighter than its predecessor, 2010's Black City; Dear's multi-tracked baritone still lends a sepulchral undertone, but his jittery loops and plucked guitar have a newfound glint. The slow-motion disco of "Headcage" shines with an eerie neon glow, and "Ahead of Myself" and "Shake Me" are shot through with warm light; Talking Heads' Caribbean-tinged post-punk informs the wriggly "Up & Out." Something about Dear's production style lends an almost squishy touch, like dancing in quicksand.