This one's been a long time coming. Really. (No pun intended.) Bethan's debut album, Time Gone By, could be traced back about four years, to when husband and wife Daniel and Jessi Hall (then Jessi James) first started a recording project together. There have been some recordings released along the way -- two EPs, to be precise: Chapter 1 and a collection of Christmas standards -- plus a host of live performances, but a proper full-length has yet to come from this something-of-a-supergroup, which also includes Jesse Hopkins and Kevin and Becki Howard.
This morning, however, came the news that Bethan will finally be releasing Time Goes By this fall. It drops October 7 via Blue Velvet Music.
In the realm of Dallas musicians, Bethan inhabit a pretty unique space. Drawing heavily on the worlds of classical, experimental and ambient music, the quintet plays some pretty heady stuff. At the heart of it, of course, are Jessi Hall's vocals, which sound a bit like Beth Gibbons without all the moroseness. Add in strings and a host of found-sound instrumentation and it's something pretty special.
Seeing where the group goes with things given the chance to stretch out for a full LP should be fascinating. One thing that should be extra encouraging: Bethan hit up McKenzie Smith, of Midlake fame, to record the album at his Redwood Recording Studio up in Denton. Given the results of Smith's recent collaboration with Sarah Jaffe, Don't Disconnect (out this week and covered plenty by us already), it seems likely he knew how to get the best out of the group.
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While the record itself gets released on October 7, Bethan will be playing a local release show the following Saturday, October 11, at Three Links in Deep Ellum. They'll also be playing next month at the Index Festival on September 28.
Here's the full track listing and album art:
01. Low Expectations 02. Beside Me 03. In Our Paris 04. Honeymoon 05. I Need A Pill To Help Me Sleep 06. Out West 07. We Are All Expiring 08. Greedy Songbird 09. Melancholia 10. Don't Be Afraid To Lie To Yourself