Monday, May 11, 2015

Listen: Pearl and the Beard - "Again Animal"

photo by Shervin Lainez
With the raucous power pop of "You" Brooklyn indie pop trio Pearl and the Beard ensured that the introduction to their upcoming album Beast every bit as triumphant as it deserved to be. The threesome were finally free from the confines of the studio, their record was successfully crowdfunded to completion, and they wasn't a tour date in sight. "Again Animal" find Pearl and the Beard in a slightly different place. Recently back from a slew of dates opening for Ani DiFranco, ready to embark on yet another with Pig Pen Theater Co, and with the details of Beast still more or less under wraps while they figure out how to distribute the damn thing "Again Animal" is a wonderful reminder that Pearl and the Beard are working their hardest and are here to stay.

The second song on the album immediately following "You", "Again Animal" dials down the sense of urgency but remains a similarly assured power pop confection. Where "You" functioned as showpiece for Jocelyn Mackenzie, "Again Animal" see-saws main vocal duties between Mackenzie and Emily Hope Price while bringing in Jeremy Styles for backing vocals and the resplendent harmonies of the chorus before turning his silvery falsetto loose in the song's climax. "Again Animal" is as much of an instrumental frenzy as it is a vocal one - built on Mackenzie's drumming, Styles and Price manage to find the perfect balance of percussive playing without losing any melodic power. There's a lot of arresting music moments to account for in "Again Animal" from its beautiful high-flying harmonies to its momentous surges.

Compositional dense but lyrically nimble, "Again Animal" is a multi-faceted track that shows off Pearl and the Beard at an obvious creative peak. That bodes well not only for the rest of Beast as each track proves itself even better than the one that preceded it but also for Pearl and the Beard in the long run. Here's hoping it's not too long now before Pearl and the Beard can show off their fancy new album and get to work on the next one.

Pearl and the Beard's third album Beast will be out later this year.

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