Charleston indie rockers Daddy’s Beemer dropped a new album May 19 called Tangles on the sixth anniversary of the band’s first self-titled EP.
Tangles’ sunny disposition encapsulates the ebb and flow of nature and the saturating effect of being on a life path you’re comfortable enough with to question what it means.
Gentle builds and blasting drops swarm over the 10 tracks on Tangles. The band’s signature energy shines through each song, although a few changes are heard. Most notably, Dan Fetterolf switched from drums to guitar so new drummer Payton Kutyla could take up his old post, and frontman Brady Sklar’s lyrics explore what it’s like to fall in love, something he’s done since the band’s 2020 LP Denmark.
“There’s a nice dichotomy between the angst and the love — like you’ll get ‘Daybreak’ which is heavy and gritty and raw, and then you’ll have ‘Studying Roses’ [which] is Cure-esque. It’s very pop-y, but also lovely and nice and tranquil to listen to,” Kutyla told the Charleston City Paper.
The sonic landscape on the new LP enfolds more acoustic guitar than previous Daddy’s Beemer releases, but is, of course, still packed with icy electric riffs and held together by bassist Wesley Heaton’s immaculate rhythm. The last song “Meadowlark” features Fetterolf on violin.
Most of the lyrics delve into the often conflicting subtleties of allowing real love to sink in, like on “Studying Roses” when Sklar sings: “Studying Roses inside a temple / The world comes crashing down real gentle / And I kinda like it, it’s not like it ever was.”
Some lyrics are not about the kind of love that usually comes to mind: “The song called ‘Fish’ is about my love of fish — carp, cat, gold, bass,” Sklar said, laughing.
The band recorded Tangles in January 2022 in two quick sessions at a cabin in Denmark, South Carolina, with producer Preston Dunnavant.
“It’s almost all live,” Heaton said, “then we went back and overdubbed vocals and some small synth and guitar parts.”
Sklar, as usual, is the mastermind behind the lyrics for Daddy’s Beemer, Kutyla said, but like with most bands, collaboration drives the finished product.
“[Brady] will bring the songs to the table, his lyrics and guitar parts, and then we’ll all just go from there — which made it really fun for me because it was my first time ever doing something like that,” Kutyla said. “We didn’t get hung up on certain artistic qualms. We all pretty much knew what we wanted to do. And we were able to do it in a quick and effective manner.”
Daddy’s Beemer formed when Heaton, Fetterolf and Sklar were at Clemson University jamming regularly, putting on house shows and doing a stint at WSBF-FM, the college’s radio station. Fetterolf ended up on drums out of necessity due to a lack of drummers available, but guitar was always his instrument of choice.
“Brady and I bonded over a love of British indie rock, like the Kooks and Arctic Monkeys,” Heaton said. “We were all listening to the same music doing radio at WSBF and playing and touring with bands like Nordista Freeze, Future Crib and Cry Baby.”
Fetterolf added, “I think the people we played with were bigger influences to me just playing with different people and figuring out what it’s like to be in a band.”
The Daddy’s Beemer boys said it was almost as if they were all destined to come together.
“Music has always been a part of my life, and always will be — can’t stop it,” Fetterolf said.
“Music started as an obsessive thing for me,” Sklar said. “And then once I started playing with other people, it became a community that I lived in. All the relationships I have now are because of music. It’s just like any other thing that people get really into: They all glom on together over this hobby they have. It became important to the frame of my life.”
Heaton said in his eyes, music is the most common and discoverable art form on Earth.
“Sometimes songs feel like they should exist and not that we’re making them up,” Heaton said. “It’s like they’re meant to be there. It’s like we’re discovering the song.”
For Kutyla, music was, in a way, his first love.
“I just don’t know where I would be without it, he said. “In all honesty, if someone said, ‘Hey Payton, you’re going to be just doing what you’re doing right now with these guys for the rest of your life.’ I would probably be okay with it.”
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