Resonation is practically guaranteed by music that perfectly encapsulates specific moods—especially if those moods only swing within a small circumference. With her debut full-length, Days Hours Nights, bicoastal indie pop artist BETS is establishing a time and a feeling without staying stationary.
With a beginning beat like a healthy heart and the hypnotic strum of a harp, opener “Cityscape” seems to be on the pulse of every 20-something skygazer who has ever sat on an apartment building rooftop. The coupling of the chorus’ “Take my pain away” with the danceable drive of the track is likely to leave listeners wondering if they’re simply bobbing their heads or nodding them in agreement with vocalist Betsy Haley Hershey’s plea. In the single, “Don’t Give a F#ck,” BETS displays a sleepy swagger similar to Lana Del Rey, blurring the line between crafty characterization and genuine apathy. It’s easy to imagine such a song serving as the soundtrack to a scene in Girls—probably something involving Jessa indulging her rebellious spirit.
While the album’s initial tracks do offer versatility in their pace and arrangements, the true highlights arise in the early afternoon of Days Hours Nights. “Daydream” is a curation of electronic-pop goodness rich with digitally decorated harmonies that Imogen Heap would undoubtedly be proud of. Following a few tracks later is “Jenny,” a bouncy summer stroll led by sugary keys and smirky vocals with tasty touches of brass and low-fi affectations. The inclusion of these standouts is bittersweet, though, as the two are bookended by some less appealing tracks like the sluggish “Sunday Someday” and the overkilling “Free Tonight.” Still, the gems provide enough glimmer to make BETS’ strengths memorable, and while closing tracks “Million Miles” and “Most of the Time” sway with a bit of sulk, they dim the lights of Days Hours Nights with grace.
In its 10 tracks, Days Hours Nights stays the course of its overarching ambivalence while still slaloming through mildly shifting moods and sonic preferences. It’s an album outfitted for the young urbanite just taking things day by day, hitting the inevitable rough patches but also strongly shining at times. BETS, it seems, is poised to be doing more of the latter in the near future.