Beacon Strips & Beacon Strips & Beacon Strips
Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett aka Beacon certainly weren’t afraid to take notes from dub star, James Blake, fusing R&B with elements of dream pop. Beacon, like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, pushes soulful music to different levels, without stepping on the successes or merits of past innovators. The duo’s No Body EP and For Now EP are examples of where R&B needs to go.
The title track on their debut No Body EP is a chilled out vibe that clocks in at just over four minutes. With fingersnaps and slowly crescendoing ride cymbals, “No Body” creates the perfect environment to get your hip special someone in the mood, as to not wear out your Keith Sweat cassettes. “Girl in a Coma” and its title accurately describes what Beacon is all about: sleepy, minimal meditations. And that’s not a bad thing. It just means Beacon has no intention of filling up their soundscapes with noise and bulky instruments. A couple bleepy synths and glitchy percussion is all the duo needs to accomplish their goal.
Fast-forward a year into the band’s career, and their For Now EP leans on the same ground established on the No Body EP. Shooting instant vibes down the listener’s spine, “It Won’t Be Long” includes whispery smooth soundscape perfect for your hopefully non-awkward date with that cute graphic design major who works at Starbucks. Drop this sucker into your stereo and let her know, not only do you have rad taste in music, you care about the ambiance before you get to business.
Beacon’s act can only work for so long. Minimal instrumentation, quiet vocals and Sade-like melodies are good for the first album and first album only. But a bright future is in the works here. Let’s just hope pop music stays the same for a couple more years.