The Beths – Expert In a Dying Field

Celebrated New Zealand crew return with a solid collection of bittersweet power-pop gems for anyone with half a heart

Album Review by Ryan Drever | 12 Sep 2022
  • The Beths - Expert in a Dying Field
Album title: Expert In a Dying Field
Artist: The Beths
Label: Carpark Records
Release date: 16 Sep

Celebrated New Zealand indie crew The Beths return to bring us their third album Expert In a Dying Field – 12 tender nuggets of aching, scuzzy power-pop reflecting the spectrum of gut-wrenching feelings felt when love, well, dies. The album's title track cleverly condenses these collected sentiments to define its core theme (of learning how to live and let go) in a singularly beautiful line: 'Love is learned over time / 'til you're an expert in a dying field'.

As lead singer and lyricist Elizabeth Stokes negotiates the uneasy terrain of a post-love landscape, the band unite to channel this pain and confusion into righteous guitar pop, shot deep with gorgeous group harmonies, plentiful hooks and more sweet licks than a cow with a lollipop. This is perhaps best exemplified by joyous album mid-point and future live highlight Head In the Clouds. The album’s tendency towards soft and sugary can sometimes grate a little, especially when the band sound so vital and exciting when they amp up the dirt and energy (Silence is Golden; I Told You That I Was Afraid).

Overall though, this is a solid collection of bittersweet pop gems for anyone with half a heart.

Listen to: Expert In a Dying Field, Head In the Clouds, Silence Is Golden