Today, Beach Fossils announce Bunny, their first studio album since 2017, out June 2nd on Bayonet. In conjunction with today’s announcement, they present its lead single/video, “Don’t Fade Away.” Throughout the last fifteen years, Beach Fossils have steadily earned their stature as one of the most definitive and enduring bands of the 2010s New York underground, consistently reaching new listeners as their sound has grown from the DIY solo project of Dustin Payseur to an influential four-piece dream pop band, self-produced, self-managed and self-released. Bunny represents strength through vulnerability.
“Sharpening their fidelity and dream-pop instincts on every successive release” (INTERVIEW), Bunny continues the stunning evolution of Beach Fossils’ sound, pulling elements from the jangly melancholy of What a Pleasure EP (2011), the gritty, post-punk inspired tracks from Clash the Truth (2013), and the lush arrangements of Somersault (2017). Inspired by the psych-pop of early Verve and Spiritualized albums and perennial influences like the Cure, Wire, the Byrds, and the Velvet Underground, Bunny was produced and recorded by Payseur himself, with Lars Stalfors (St. Vincent, Soccer Mommy, Lil Peep) mixing. Payseur remarks that in creating this album, a bigger emphasis was made for stronger attunement to pop structure. “When I wrote the first record, there were no choruses; it was instrumental guitar parts in between verses. This is the first record where I’ve consciously thought about writing a chorus.” Throughout, he’s joined by core band members Tommy Davidson (guitar), Jack Doyle Smith (bass), and Anton Hochheim (drums).
From poignant words about a family member’s cancer battle and the joy of being a father, to small, but meaningful moments with friends, Bunny is the band’s most vivid, grounded and personal work to date. The songs reflect on depression, love, adventure, loss, mistakes, New York City, friendships coming and going — a mélange of granular pieces in the process of continuing to find yourself. Payseur’s collage-like lyrics communicate through tone and mood as much as narrative; New York poets like Frank O’Hara, Ted Berrigan, and Anne Waldman were on his desk, as was the Tao Te Ching.
Today’s single, “Don’t Fade Away,” is an instant earworm. The video, directed by Kevin Clark (Finneas, Flatbush Zombies), sees Payseur crooning across a beautiful array of late night backdrops, from elevator cabs to Los Angeles’ El Capitan Theater. Of the track, Payseur adds: “‘Don’t Fade Away’ is about missing old friends, being on tour, self-medicating, longing, anxiety, love, being an idiot, having fun, embracing your mistakes and keeping your spark.”
Beach Fossils have sold-out concerts at venues including Brooklyn Steel in New York, The Wiltern in Los Angeles, Thalia Hall in Chicago, and beyond, and played Coachella, Bonnaroo, Primavera, and Post Malone’s Posty Fest. The band’s latest release, 2021’s The Other Side of Life: Piano Ballads, hit No. 3 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Albums chart and the band recently cracked seven million monthly listeners total across all platforms. Bayonet Records is a genre-expansive independent label Payseur co-founded in 2014; it continues to serve as an incubator for a diverse roster of developing artists.
Stream “Don’t Fade Away”
1. Sleeping On My Own
2. Run To The Moon
3. Don’t Fade Away
4. (Just Like The) Setting Sun
5. Anything is Anything
6. Dare Me
7. Feel So High
8. Tough Love