Jeff Beam by Jeff BeamRelease date: April 17, 2020
One of the effects of the COVID-19 virus crisis was that most of the music artists that had albums slated for release in the Spring of 2020 have decided to postpone those releases for some better times. Many plausible reasons have guided such decisions from people stuck in their homes to the possibility that nobody will be thinking about spending their money on music. Some were not brave enough to dare the virus with their music.
It seems that Jeff Beam Portland, Maine psych rocker, or folder, or both decided to gamble his chances and stick to the April release date for his latest, self-titled album. After all, he already has a solid online presence for nine years or so, coming up with a steady stream of releases that always tried to give a new twist to his all things psych inclinations. His move was even braver if you have in mind that for the first time he was coming up with a physical release (vinyl, Cd, even cassette) and that he had to cancel a series of already booked tour dates. But then, Beam already gave us a glimpse of his braver when a few years back he decided to single-handedly (with the help of few. friends) tackle The Beatles White Album.
Obviously, Beam had at least an inkling of confidence that his music will find its place in its hard times. Judging on what he came up with on the nine tracks here, there is some serious merit in his decision. It doesn’t really matter where you start to listen here – from the Radiohead tones of the opener ‘Stephen King’ or the Byrds-like harmonies of the closing ‘The Loaner’, Jeff has run the gamut of his psych influences, wrapping them all up in his quite keen sense for melody.
What makes this self-titled album another plus is the fact that Beam was able to package all of his influences into a set of well-rounded and thought-out songs that deserve to be heard. Virus crisis or no virus crisis. Maybe even more so because of the former.