Beams has developed a repertoire of interesting music, starting with their debut album Dakota Live (2012), and extending to Be My Brother (Single) (2013) and Just Rivers (2013). Now, with the release of The Gutters & The Glass, the band is gearing for a broader audience.
The band is generally known for its two female singers in harmony with either a banjo, mandolin, lap steel guitar, or singing saw – or a bit of all of them. Anna Mernieks combines her vocal talents with her partner Heather, and the two are joined by a band of five others who lend instrumental talents.
The most impactful part of this effort is the beautiful intertwining of female vocals, supported by a folksy guitar lay. The best way to describe the way the singing goes is aloof. The grate of an electric guitar keeps it from being your little sister’s kind of music though; there’s a fine pair of teeth treading just beneath the sing-song lightness. Side A is relaxing with ‘The Way We Run’, to say the very least.
‘Black Shadow’ runs the theme with more swiftness, keeping the lovely ladies’ voices dancing with the banjo chasing them along the way. The style of voice is fluttering and angelic, like something you would expect to hear in an opera. I’m glad Anna and Heather decided to go this route though, enriching the Toronto music scene with new sounds.
You’ve got to give these gals a chance, just to say you’ve tried every flavour that Toronto has to offer. It’s a different stroke from the electric tunes accompanying a shredding guitar and angsty singer that we’re used to.
Follow their next releases through their website.