Return of The Beta Macks

Nashville, TN is well documented and established as the Music City of the states. From Americana, blues, every variant of country imaginable, the Grand Ole Opery, Robert's Western World and so much more—Nashville is also home to a cult pop phenomenon with the power to turn conventional radio tropes inside out. We are talking of course about The Beta Macks, made up of Lindsay Bennett,  Bill Mitchell, and Sam Rutherford (with the live additions of percussionist Will Reissand vocalist La'akea Presley) who recently released their Imaginary World EP. Referencing of course the iconic analog-video cassette format Betamax, the group heralds from the world renowned DIY pop collectives of Pangs, NUDITY and more that for years have been reshaping international musical influences into bright new futuristic fashions.

The Beta Macks' Imaginary World EP builds a brilliant universe where everything is blended into a maximalist harmony. The vocals and and electro-instruments bridge the hook-heavy fabric of eastern aesthetics with a Top 40 UK hit parade type of chemistry. "Imaginary World" creates a world of endless intrigue, where the listener easily falls into with dance hook sequences that recall throwback Euro club beats that transforms the entire track into a day-glo polychrome warehouse disco of wonders. Those sentiments of escapism continue along that expressive path of indulgences on "First Class Ticket" that is the soundtrack for pampering and treating yourself with care—as well as bottle service. The synths exude opulence with an arrangement that is orchestrated with an energetic and excited feeling of escapist respite. With these illustrious offerings, The Beta Macks have officially provided their benediction and commencement of the summer season—2018 edition.

The Beta Macks' Lindsay Bennet and Bill Mitchell shared some thoughts on their new material, latest inspirations, art mediums, discoveries and other matters:

Latest enlightened streams of consciousness that you all have discovered.

Bill Mitchell: Go to trade school, trade Bitcoin, get bit by a dog and sue, marry a girl named Susan.

From the recent wealth of Beta Macks singles lately from "Never Meant to Last", "Narcissist", "Fall With You", "Paper Lantern", "Beach"—describe the creative experiences that directed you to create the neatly crafted sophisti-pop ultra-ballads "Imaginary World" and "First Class Ticket".

Lindsay: We all have an affinity for super saccharine pop. Like Britney Spears "Till the World Ends" dance pop. Bill met a guy that pitches songs to KPOP artists so we decided to try to write some. We were referencing a couple bands called Cosmic Girls and AOA. I don't know if it sounds like that stuff or not, but we really had fun and are extremely happy with how they turned out. With "First Class Ticket" we were thinking about that song by the S.O.S. Band "Take Your Time (Do it Right)" and that influenced the melody I came up with for the chorus. Nick Bennett from Pangs really helped us out in making the drop so cool in "FCT". He is also responsible for the album art! "Imaginary World"'s hook was something Bill had been batting around forever. He was messing with a new synth he bought while jamming with Sam Rutherford on bass and that's how the music came about. Sam had written this country sounding song so we just altered some of the words and melodies and it worked out beautifully. It's really cool to transform a song from one genre to another. You can literally start anything out on a guitar or a piano.

Nashville summer sun & natural splendor; photographed by Nick Bennett

Nashville summer sun & natural splendor; photographed by Nick Bennett

Notes from the Nashville and surrounding scenes of interest.

Lindsay: My fave Nashville band right now is called Sad Baxter. They're just a perfect 90s grunge pop duo. Check them out! There's this monthly dance thing called Fascination Street here that is pretty awesome. I need to go more. They play post punk, goth, dark wave stuff. Bill and Sam love the graveyard metal scene here, though I really know nothing about it other than there's this funeral doom band called Loss that plays songs so slow they last 15 minutes. Epic AF. One scene that is changing for the worst is on lower Broadway. Nashville has grown a ton over the past several years and there are a bunch of newbie young people playing bad bro country and running off the true musicians who have played the classics and made a nice living down there. I think Robert's Western World is probably one of the only ones left that hasn't changed.

The latest things have captured the fascination of The Beta Macks.

Bill: White sneakers are still cool, white pants are not, bomber jackets rule, so do slip on shoes, nice cars are a waste of time and money, no one takes responsibility for anything ever anymore anywhere.

Lindsay: We were pretty into the third season of Twin Peaks. Bill discovered that you should watch the last two episodes side by side simultaneously. It's pretty crazy! Also any nordic noir shows like Fortitude and the German Sci-Fi show Dark have had good soundtracks.

Insights on the latest and most exciting discoveries and epiphanies.

Bill: Planet Fitness is a helpful, inexpensive, but ultimately silly place. cheap hotels are now expensive cheap hotels. IHOP is an awful place.

Lindsay: I'm constantly amazed at the speed technology keeps moving. You can't even blink without some new way to make things easier but that ultimately ends up distracting you from your actual life. As I try to become more aware of my distractions it's really unnerving how little control we seem to think we have over our devices and screens. And it's even harder when you are looking at a screen for work, which most people are. But I'm trying to look at it from a positive viewpoint, as an opportunity to gain a lot more self control. Ha! I don't know. I'm not hating on technological advances too much though, cause I can't even imagine if I was trying to make music pre-synth or pre-computer... and I like that music seems to be evolving with the technology at a similar speed. I'm thinking of artists like Sophie from PCMUSIC and Holly Waxwing. They're pretty futuristic sounding....I've also started getting into fiber art. When I'm musically blocked it's chill to zone out and do macramé. I even have an Etsy shop now called MACRAMelody. I never imagined it doing much but I've sold a few things. Mostly the Twin Peaks wall hanging I designed!

The owls are not what they seem...  Lindsay's Twin Peaks' macramé homage.

The owls are not what they seem... Lindsay's Twin Peaks' macramé homage.

Artists that are also of particular interest to The Beta Macks.

South African artists Babes Wodumo & Distruction Boyz, Brazilian funk music called Carioca (check out Bondes Das Maravilhas), Hot ChocolateGel Set, Robyn, Grimes, Fever Ray, Santigold, Bowie.

The current philosophy at work in The Beta Macks camp.

Bill: Dirty sounding instruments played improperly. Using synths that sound like something a drug dealer would sell you in a dirty, wet alley way at the end of your life.

Lindsay: Have fun and make people dance.

The Beta Macks' new singles "Imaginary World"/"First Class Ticket" are available now via Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud & everywhere.