Beacon’s third full-length record enters sight as a work of meticulous revision and refraction. Returning home to New York in 2016, four years and several tours since the duo's first release with Ghostly International, Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett knew the next direction would be dierent. Together they embarked on open-ended sessions, adopting a more linear style of songwriting compared to their previous loop and texture-driven method. They fundamentally constructed demos from piano chords and guitar phrases with vocal melodies, editing iterations almost ad infinitum, looking through each from a multitude of angles. Compositions expanded, while others pared back to where they began. Like the bending of light, this abstractive and patient process outlines a space and scale in which seemingly separate colors — minimalist ballads, elaborate pop spirituals, and four-on-the-floor dance sequences — can coexist at dierent speeds, fanning out with spectral cohesion. A prismatic collection Beacon call Gravity Pairs.
Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett are unstoppable. The New York artists, collectively known as Beacon, have been on a productive hot streak since 2012, and their efforts continue to pay off. "When we weren't writing," Mullarney starts, "we hit the road and didn't really look back. We toured the US five times since The Ways We Separate came out, building this project the old-fashioned way." And Beacon's natural, time-tested process has brought us Escapements, their sophomore album for Ghostly. Whereas the duo's debut was more streamlined and defined, Escapements thrives on an amorphous, free-flowing nature. "We went into this feeling liberated," continues the singer/producer, and Gossett seems to echo his thought: "This record is in part our attempt to formulate what Beacon is going to look and sound like going forward."
For much of the Brooklyn duo's career, Beacon has worked with a kind of effervescent, forward-looking R&B that evokes out-of-body experiences, but with their new L1 EP, the music is anchored assuredly to your flesh, bone, and physical senses. The brawny synth timbres which open lead track "Fault Lines" and the stomping beats bolstering gauzy falsettos on confident songs like "Minor Structure" set the tone for a new phase in Beacon's evolution, one geared toward the movements and magnetism of human bodies. As producer Jacob Gossett puts it, "Our records have often been described as moments after the night has given way, a 'comedown after the club.' Hopefully, this record inspires people to go back out for one more."
Beacon's debut album The Ways We Separate both consolidates and develops these ideas. The album focuses, as the title suggests, on the idea of separation — both within the context of relationships and in a more intimate, psychological sense. As Thomas Mullarney explains, "The narrative contained inside The Ways We Separate deals with two kinds of separation: one where two entities grow apart, and the other where we grow apart from ourselves. Over the course of a relationship, the two sometimes happen together, one being the result of the other."