Week in Pop: Emily Ritz, Hélène Barbier, Pictorial Candi

Sjimon Gompers

The continuing adventures of Berlin pop designer Pictorial Candi; photographed by Moritz Freudenberg.

A Beacon School

Inside the world of Patrick J. Smith of A Beacon School; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Brooklyn’s Patrick J. Smith is known for work with Modern Rivals, BLUFFING, Perfect Strangers & so forth, delivering a listen to the latest project of passion A Beacon School with the fresh debut album Cola available today from Grind Select. The result is a walk through a world of self-styled & well-tailored ambiance where everything from chord loops & atmospheres will fill the senses with delight vagaries that are hard to conventionally define & describe.

Cola arrives with the effervescent opener “Algernon” that awakens the mind like the especially slow-rising mornings that take a moment to fully calibrate & greet in a perpendicular fashion & form. The stretches of beliefs (along with the questions of) arise on “I Don’t Believe It” as the questions of what is & isn’t meant to be take you to the motorik evening shoulder-shaker “It’s Late”, basking in the interlude weather of “Heat Wave”, to happy-hop joys & punchy meditations of “JCult”. Patrick’s arrangements are unpredictable & all over the place which gives the album Cola it’s own unique type of charm. Observe how the economy of “Hum” works in experimental manners that suddenly lets its freak flag fly with pride, as “Stay Away” showcases the various kinds of fun that can be had with chord-based rhythms as you are swiftly brought to the melancholic beauty of “Ash” that flickers with electric smolders & shining embers to leave you with kernels of warmth.

The latest from A Beacon School’s Patrick J. Smith; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Patrick J. Smith shared the following reflective thoughts on the making of debut A Beacon School album Cola:

Cola is a stream-of-consciousness record that was written and recorded over the past three years. It was built with no conceptual framework, no real game plan other than to do what felt emotionally satisfying. The end result is a pure expression of my musical id. While the lyrics aren’t terribly confessional, the album is extremely personal. There are probably overarching themes I can’t see just yet, but for now all I can say is that this album is an embrace of decadence, a sugary drink that’s almost certainly not good for you, but tastes great at the time.

A Beacon School’s debut album Cola is available now from Grind Select.

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