Much has been made -- by us, even -- about The Burning Hotels' new sound of late, and how far a cry it is from the band's poppy (and highly enjoyable) post-punk origins. Indeed, their new New Wave-oriented output is an obvious change for the outfit. But Chance Morgan and Matthew Mooty, the driving forces behind the Fort Worth act, have very clearly always had a couple of sets of solid ears on their side. It was only a little over a year ago that we were raving about "Austin's Birthday," the very clear standout on the band's sophomore LP, Novels.

Now that the band is starting to leak some of the material off of their next, to-be-released-in-August LP, we can rest assured that at least that much hasn't changed. As the band has proven consistently in live settings since taking a sharp left turn with their sound, the new material may be different, but it certainly isn't worse.

Rather, it's not worse at all -- it's better, and by a longshot. Cultivating what appears to be a Flock of Seagulls influence, The Burning Hotels may be re-visiting the '80s a la so many others before them, but they're certainly doing so on their own terms and in their own way. And it pays off: "Beard," the first single off of the band's new album, and which the band has kindly made available as a free download," is an earworm to be sure, a dance track that demands repeat listens.

Stream and grab it after the jump.

Bonus MP3: The Burning Hotels -- "Beard"

The Burning Hotels -- "Beard"

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