The Beths recently appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, performing a handful of songs from last year’s Expert in a Dying Field as well as 2020’s Jump Rope Gazers. The session saw the Aotearoan indie rockers swap the buzzy, overdriven guitars in the songs’ studio versions for largely acoustic renditions.
For Jump Rope Gazers’ title track, the band’s Benjamin Sinclair trades bass for clarinet, delivering an excellent woodwind adaptation of the guitar solo that features on the OG recording. ‘Expert in a Dying Field’, ‘Out of Sight’ and ‘When You Know You Know’ all received stripped down versions as well. Check it out.
Watch the Beths’ Tiny Desk Performance Below
The Tiny Desk Concert session arrives at the same time the Beths share a new single, ‘Watching the Credits’. The song was written during sessions for Expert in a Dying Field but, “didn’t quite fit on the album,” the band said when announcing it on social media. “It’s a fun one,” they added. “It’s got violins and a key change and everything.”
In a statement shared by Stereogum, bandleader Elizabeth Stokes discussed how the song was about a longstanding fascination she had with learning as much as she could about a film without ever actually watching them.
“Podcasts, articles, YouTube videos, behind the scenes clips, critical analysis. I’d read the Wikipedia plot synopses instead of watching the movie though,” she said. “I’ve since got over this weird behaviour (mostly) and now consider myself a ‘movie person’ who enjoys actually watching movies.
” My relationship with music has gotten strange over the last few years. I think now that it’s my job I associate it with work, which is something I don’t love,” she continued. “Maybe I was drawn to absorbing content about a creative medium that had some things in common with music, but didn’t feel so existential. Making a movie with hundreds of people seems like such a huge herculean effort compared to making an album with your band.” Listen below.