Amoeba San Francisco - October 15th @ 6:00pm
Join us at Amoeba SF for a mini acoustic set and album signing with the Ipswich, England-bred five-piece band Basement. Their fourth full-length album, Beside Myself (out on CD & vinyl on October 12th via Fueled By Ramen), is an intimate look at the drawbacks of living in your own head, and the attempt to shake off everyday anxieties. Also see them later that night at The Rickshaw Stop.
For all its intense introspection and confessions of self-consciousness, Beside Myself centers on a powerful, passionately charged sound that makes every track feel deeply cathartic. A relentless burst of pure vitality, the album expresses its unrest in the language of furious guitar riffs and visceral rhythms. And at the heart of Beside Myself are Basement’s indelible melodies, an element that lends an anthemic quality to even the most heavy-hearted songs.
Beside Myself was co-produced by the band and Colin Brittain, and mixed by Rich Costey (Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Muse). In creating the album, Basement focused on channeling the raw energy of their live performance, adding little adornment beyond the occasional synth line or piano melody. But despite the stark simplicity of its sonic palette, Beside Myself emerges as the band’s most fully realized work to date.
Throughout Beside Myself, vocalist Andrew Fisher’s lyrics reveal the thoughtful sensitivity partly honed through his recent stint as a teacher of religious studies at a school in East London (a position he held while Basement took a break between their 2012 sophomore album Colourmeinkindness and their 2014 EP Further Sky). “Every single day I could genuinely affect young people on a face-to-face level,” says Fisher of his teaching experience. “I had a purpose and a drive, and there was real meaning to it. I think it’s possible for music to inspire other people too—but as soon as you make that your goal, or have an agenda to what you’re creating, it taints everything. For me the only goal behind making music is some kind of emotional outpouring.”
On Beside Myself, that outpouring unfolds at its own distinct pace, with Basement bringing an unhurried deliberation to their meditations on mental health and the overall anxiety of getting by in the modern world. As a result, the album invites a certain self-reflection in the listener, and ultimately provides a sense of solace. “I don’t think making this album has changed my perspective in any way, but I do think it’s good to talk about things that you’re struggling with,” says Fisher. “Even if it doesn’t help you to understand the world any better, it’s always good to just get those thoughts and feelings out. That’s what music’s always been able to do for me.”