In this week's paper, Christian Schaeffer wrote a feature on Old Lights. (Photo above by Jennifer Silverberg.) The band's limited-edition vinyl LP, Every Night Begins the Same, is available today on St. Ives. (Order here.) Schaeffer describes the band's sound thusly:
Old Lights' ascent is first and foremost a product of the band's songs. Built around piano and guitar, a typical live set will touch on jangle-pop, ramped-up folk songs, Brill Building-era standards and a few moments of heart-on-sleeve clarity. As a singer, Beeman pushes his high, sweet tenor without straining it, knowing that the band's easy-to-swallow sweetness belies the emotional heft of his lyrics.
At the moment, Beeman and bandmate/girlfriend Kristin Dennis are in Cottage Grove, Oregon, recording with Richard Swift. (In fact, they happen to be next-door neighbors.) He says he hopes to record two albums with Swift in the time they spend in the Pacific Northwest -- and stresses that Old Lights is not broken up. In fact, he had some kind things to say about the members of Old Lights' live configuration...
On guitarist Gabe Doiron: "He not only plays anything interesting or hard on guitar that you might hear, he's just a huge music fan. And [he] has great taste in music. Just down to knowing more chords than me to take songs to different places. I would write a song and he would do guitar solo. That turned into "Come help me with the bridge" or "What do you think of the verse?" So he's definitely a collaborator. He's been priceless to me. I'm a really good drummer but I'm mediocore at piano and mediocore and guitar. Just to have someone in the band that can really play - I like that. I don't like really show-y music, necessarily, but I like it when a band can really play."
A few other choice outtakes... On Paul McCartney's influence on the record: "For the writing of this record, I listened to Paul McCartney's Ram record - for every other record I listened to, I listened to it four times. That record is so interesting to me musically and rhythmically and sonically, that maybe he is saying something on that record, but I have no idea. I don't even care."
On his friendship with Richard Swift: "I met him when I was 19 - I'm 28 now. I got an internship at a studio in Irvine, California. I had no idea what I was doing. He was always there, either producing stuff or playing on stuff. I saw him again and we did a show with him [at Schuba's in Chicago]. I've always liked the guy, I love his music, I always buy his records. When I started playing keys again, I really loved what he was doing on piano. I totally am influenced by him also."
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.