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Om Beachwood Sparks
This Cosmic American Music/Twee Pop outfit comprises four Los Angelino scenesters who have also played in Further, Strictly Ballroom, Lilys, and the Tyde. In their early stages, Beachwood Sparks were a six-piece cofronted by ex-Further guitar virtuoso Josh Schwartz (who now plays in Fairechild with his wife Elisa Randazzo). At that time, the band leaned a bit harder on Classic Rock inspired riffs, melodic songwriting and unaffected, Beach Boys-inspired vocal harmonies. After two 7-inch singles (for Bomp! and Sub Pop), the band downsized to a quartet and drastically changed their sound. Although the new incarnation of the band sounds a bit lighter than the first lineup, Beachwood Sparks still manage to layer 1960s-inspired psychedelia with Cosmic American Music over a foundation of Twee Pop. Those who find solace on label rosters such as Sarah and Slumberland will be delighted by singer Chris Gunst's endearing kid-with-hay-fever vocals, but the real musical genius of Beachwood Sparks comes from "Farmer" Dave Scher. He juggles innovation on the lap steel guitar and grinding organ, while holding songs together with the glue of his buttery backing vocals. Beachwood Sparks' celestially transcendent songwriting almost guarantees that they'll be a formidable band for a long time to come.