The Mark of Excellence

Heavenly Beat


> > Jul 24 2012

Heavenly Beat - Talent
By Cam LindsayBrooklyn's Beach Fossils are a productive crew of musicians. Guitarist Zachary Cole Smith struck gold recently with his debut album as DIIV, but there's also bassist John Pena's Heavenly Beat. Preceding his tenure with Beach Fossils, Heavenly Beat also found a spot on the roster of Captured Tracks, which released two seven-inches and now Talent, the debut album. Reportedly constructed by exclusively listening to the Tough Alliance, Lil B and R. Kelly, while "being madly in love," Pena's formula has resulted in an album of strikingly beautiful love songs. The Tough Alliance influence is a strong one, as Talent mirrors the balmy Caribbean vibe of A New Chance. But Pena doesn't settle for making copycat Balearic pop numbers, despite the healthy serving of steel drums and pizzicato string samples. His vision is as much rooted in '80s indie pop, such as the Field Mice or the transcendent guitar work of Kings of Convenience, adding vocals that are winsome and delicate, with the ability to reach falsettos effortlessly, as heard on "Presence." It's rare for an artist to actually match a sound with their name (see Steely Dan for how not to do it), but with Talent, Pena has done just that by creating music that flutters to a perfect, heavenly beat.
(Captured Tracks)
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