Beams - "You Are An Ocean" (Independent): Toronto folk-rock combo Beams made a mark with its 2013 debut release, Just Rivers¸ and plans to release its next album, Teach Me To Love, on Feb. 23. A long time in the making, the band explains that "during the writing of the record, lead singer/songwriter Anna Mernieks went down a mental spiral that wreaked havoc on her personal and artistic life." Given that the group has scheduled an upcoming North American tour, it would seem she is back on track.
This lead single, recorded and mixed by Ian Gomes and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Peter J. Moore, is impressive, with sophisticated and yet subtle production flourishes boosting the sound of the septet.
"You Are An Ocean" showcases the clear and expressive voice of Mernieks, and is ably enhanced with a chorus of backing vocal tracks. Lyrically, it connects the individual and the universal, with such intriguing lyrics as "skin is just a membrane, not a wall at all." At 2.27 in length, it is a concise track that leaves us thirsting for more.
Beams plays six North American shows in February, including dates at This Ain't Hollywood in Hamilton (Feb. 21) and Smiling Buddha in Toronto (Feb. 23). A full itinerary here