The Beths Are Back with “A Real Thing”

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The Beths Are Back with “A Real Thing”

New Zealand quartet The Beths are back with their first new material since their 2020 album Jump Rope Gazers, “A Real Thing.” The standalone single and video, out now on Carpark Records & Ivy League, marks the beginning of the band’s long-awaited, twice-rescheduled North American headlining tour.

“A Real Thing” is a bold power-pop tune that marries bright instrumentation to murky lyrics, as lead singer Liz Stokes ponders climate catastrophe (“Wake me up when the world is fried”) and systemic oppression (“You’ve got one hand over your heart while you’re holding me down”). The explosive instrumental bridge is one of the hardest-rocking moments in The Beths’ discography, and its fever only breaks for the song to snap back into the chorus’ unlikely hope: “Getting rhyme over reason / It’s a sinister silly season / Maybe we can end up meaning a real thing.”

“‘A Real Thing’ is a kind of anxiety dream. It’s a bit muddled, a bit frantic, a bit sinister,” Stokes explains in a statement. “It’s what came out of my guitar in late 2020, post NZ election (and U.S. election). I was limply reaching for optimism about the future, but was really just marinating in dread.”

The song also includes specific references to some of New Zealand’s attempts to mitigate climate change, Stokes notes: “In NZ people sometimes use tyres and cement to build retaining walls by the water, to try to stop the land being eroded away as the sea encroaches. It doesn’t really work.” Her disdain for—and despair due to—such half-measures is more biting on the song itself, as she sings of the would-be beach reinforcements, “Laying down beside them like I’m in on the joke.”

Last year, The Beths—Stokes, lead guitarist Jonathan Pearce, bassist Benjamin Sinclair, and drummer Tristan Deck—released Auckland, New Zealand, 2020, a concert album and film that captured their mid-pandemic performance at Auckland Town Hall. There’s no official word yet on whether “A Real Thing” belongs to a larger body of work, although the band’s announcement does describe the track as “an exciting marker of more excellent work to come.”

Watch the “A Real Thing” video and The Beths’ 2019 Paste session below, and find their tour dates further down, plus ticket info here.

The Beths Tour Dates:

February
10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theater (SOLD OUT)
11 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s (SOLD OUT)
12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
15 – Austin, TX @ Empire Garage
16 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada (SOLD OUT)
18 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell) (SOLD OUT)
19 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
23 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall (SOLD OUT)
24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts (SOLD OUT)
25 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat (SOLD OUT)
26 – Boston, MA @ Royale
28 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom

March
02 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
04 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
10 – Sydney, AU @ The Factory Theatre (SOLD OUT)
11 – Brisbane, AU @ The Zoo (SOLD OUT)
12 – Melbourne, AU @ The Night Cat (SOLD OUT)
27 – Southampton, UK @ The Loft
28 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club (SOLD OUT)
29 – Glasgow, UK @ St Luke’s
31 – Manchester, UK @ Club Academy

April
02 – Birmingham, UK @ The Castle and Falcon
03 – Bristol, UK @ Exchange
04 – London, UK @ O2 Forum Kentish Town
05 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde II
07 – Paris, FR @ Point Ephémère
08 – Lyon, FR @ Le Marché Gare
09 – Dudingen, CH @ Bad Bonn
10 – Lausanne, CH @ Le Romandie
12 – Milan, IT @ Biko
13 – Munich, DE @ Feierwerk
15 – Vienna, AT @ B72
16 – Prague, CZ @ Underdogs’
18 – Berlin, DE @ Lido
19 – Copenhagen, DK @ VEGA Ideal Bar
20 – Hamburg, DE @ Molotow
21 – Cologne, DE @ Bumann & Sohn
22 – Brussels, BE @ Ancienne Belgique
23 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
24 – Esch-sur-Alzette, LU @ Kulturfabrik

July
24 – Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party

August
14 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace