Essential New Music: Beach Fossils’ “Somersault”

If your band is going have the word “beach” in its name, your music better have breeziness in spades. Brooklyn trio Beach Fossils have offered an easygoing listening experience since their debut, though their sophomore album (and associated EPs) marked a turn into more jagged territory. On Somersault, Beach Fossils continue to expand their sound, and the band gets better as it ventures further from home. Early on Somersault, “This Year” and “May 1st” set the scene with ably played jangle. The songs are ultimately harmless, but they’re overshadowed by the album’s more adventurous moments. Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell lends her voice to the floaty “Tangerine,” and “Social Jetlag” sounds like Teenage Fanclub on codeine. The ghost of “I Am The Walrus” haunts “Closer Everywhere,” and singer Dustin Payseur takes a backseat to Memphis rapper Cities Aviv’s spoken word on “Rise.” They might still find comfort in straightforward guitar pop, but Beach Fossils are a rare band that should actually indulge its wilder tendencies.

—Eric Schuman