Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bands You Should Know: Beta Radio

By Justin Cates

This one came to me courtesy of my dear friend Amanda who isn't entirely sure how she found it.

Beta Radio hails from Wilmington, North Carolina and is a kind of Americana/indie folk outfit that's decidedly up my alley.

Benjamin Mabry handles lead vocals along with some guitar, glockenspiel and harmonium—a kind of pedaled reed organ.

Brent Holloman plays guitar, bass, piano, glockenspiel banjo and sings a bit too.

A myriad of other musicians, including Hoffman's wife Amanda appear on the group's studio efforts as well as backing the band up at live shows.

Brent Holloman (left) and Benjamin Mabry (right) appear at home in the 19th century.

On a whim—I realized I had 40 bucks on an iTunes gift card—the deluxe version of Beta Radio's only full length studio album to date, Seven Sisters has been purchased and downloaded.

In addition to standout track "Either Way", the beautiful but brief "Hello Lovely" and the happier fare of "Where Losers Do" brighten the more somber notes of "Highlight on the Hill".

It's a thoughtful album that could easily be dismissed as "boring", but the tasteful banjo touches and other auxiliary instrumentation is just subtle enough not to distract. I have a feeling this will make a great winter listen on a quiet snowy day spent indoors.

Give them a listen and let me know what you think.

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