Beauty Pill is a band which hails from Washington, D.C. (hey, a local act!), headed up by singer, guitarist, and producer Chad Clark. The group’s sound is unconventional and rather quirky, combining some bits of rock, baroque-ish pop, and an electronic edge, and on their second LP (and first album in over a decade), 2015’s Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, they’ve delivered a memorable record. Clark and the group excel at crafting wondrous listens, with a bit of experimentation and a lot of personality. They also pretty adept at telling fascinating stories, too, and the record feels very personal and spontaneous. It’s an intriguing experience.
“Afrikaner Barista” is an example of that. The song is bright and bold, with a catchy melody and solid instrumentation. Those musical swells are just terrific…but it’s the story told here, more of a vignette, really, which catches my attention. The track is about a person’s infatuation with a coffee shop barista who just so happens to be from a far-off land with a sordid past wherein terrible acts happened to a lot of people for decades….and that barista may or may not be supportive of that history. I don’t know, you fill in the blanks. But then again, the track seems so joyous considering the subject matter, and the band leaves much to your interpretation.
Charming, peculiar, and rather ambitious, this one is a listen I’ve had on repeat for most of the day and the more I hear it, the more endearing it becomes.