Beachwood Sparks – Desert Skies

Alive Naturalsound Records

When Beachwood Sparks reunited for last year’s stellar The Tarnished Gold it was a dream come true for many fans. After all they had been waiting over a decade for a new album from the cosmically tinted psych-country heroes. So it’s fitting that the L.A. group’s earliest recordings have now been unearthed as Desert Skies .

Although it’s dubbed Beachwood Sparks’ “lost” debut record the collection features several previously released tracks such as the early 7-inch cuts “Make It Together” and “Midsummer Daydream” though often in drastically different form. The original six-piece Beachwood Sparks after all was quite a different animal with the spacey pastoral alt-country tones of their later work slamming head on with more aggressive power-pop sensibilities you’d expect from a Bandwagonesque -era Teenage Fanclub or pissed-off Beulah.

While it’s a far cry from the more sophisticated alt-country sound Beachwood Sparks would soon embrace Desert Skies is an interesting record to say the least and offers sharp moments of buried brilliance amongst fuzz-loaded guitar work snaking vocal harmonies and amped-up psych mayhem. More importantly Desert Skies is a record every Beachwood Sparks fan needs to hear if only for historical reasons.