Beautyness are a four piece band from Minneapolis (Minnesota) consisting of front man and founder Alex Guderian, Dave Martini, Matt Rector and Tanner Gray. There sound is one of melancholic that borders on an all pervading sense of needy introspection. This aesthetic is developed by a constant alternation between the grumbling chess thumping purveyed within indie rock and a more laconic wistful early 90’s dream pop stance. These two seemingly polar opposites are filled with a muted jangle-pop that is so subtle that it feels almost as apologetic as it is beautiful.
The EP starts off with Lull (I prefer the Spotify not Bandcamp track order) which is the most shoegaze of the tracks and evokes the feeling of The BV’s in their prettiest moments, whilst always eclipsing them for vocal sweetness, but matching them for reverb distortion and all things echo. It is possibly the weakest of the tracks if only for the fact that I need my shoegaze served without as many bells and whistles effects…if at all.
The EP then moves in to far stronger territory with Spell (see below), matching the indie rock / janglepop aesthetic of Elna Rae (it is incredibly similar to their track Ultra Lord). There are not too many bands that that can occupy the middle ground within these two genres and still manage to let the melody of the jangle-pop fight through the general riff domination that the best indie rock demands. Beautyness do this superbly in a track that starts off uptempo and maintains this stance, whilst seemingly layering the melodies on throughout.
The strongest track of the release however, lies in the moment that Beautyness take their foot of the indie rock tempo and slow down quite considerably in Funny Old Life (see below) to reveal a Sumday era Grandaddy atmospheric. It never threatens to add to what this primary influence has provided but is beautiful in the very same type of manner.
The final track, ‘Cynics Bliss’ returns back to the more uptempo stance of the remainder of the EP and is without doubt the most jangle-pop infused. It presents Gentle Eyes style Terry Malts half jangled / half chimed riffs coursing throughout the track. Again the middle ground between the two genres is filled perfectly.
There is so much to like in this brief EP that all the various ‘follow’ button are well and truly clicked in anticipation of their first full length.