Beat's Myth's Final Song

11/07/2017 16:03

In April, as recording began for Beat's Myth's 20th album, "Mirror," the band announced that after 12 years, they would stop recording together after completing that final project. The decision had been in the works for a long time; interest in the band had ebbed and flowed over the years, with some albums like "Mists" showing a revival of interest and quality, and others, like "Inverted," demonstrating a half-hearted attempt to put something together.

Still, through its 12 year run, the band managed to produce at least one album every year, and on November 5th, they celebrated their successes by releasing their final, and perhaps best, song: "Fade." Paired with a music video showing the band members packing up for departure, "Fade" is sentimental and melancholy. It reminisces on the good things that have faded over the years, when the group's projects and meetings were simple and exciting. However, in the past few years, it had become increasingly difficult for the band mates to get together in the same room at the same time. For the first time this year, the four of them were unable to be together for their annual Easter recording weekend. Summer recording weeks and weekends, once a staple of the group's production schedule, had been falling through for years; but the band was able to pull together one last time in August to finish the album, film music videos, and stand for one last photo shoot together.

Beat's Myth began in 2005 with three members: Martin on lead vocals and piano, Brian on guitar, and Peter on drums, with Emily joining in the summer of 2006 with keyboard and bass. Eventually Martin would take over all keyboard and bass tracks and Emily's vocal role would expand. The group's style started as basic pop/rock, and after recording 4 albums in its first year, they recorded two albums a year -- one in the spring and one in the summer -- until 2010. That year, "Shadows" represented a bit of a shift, with both a darker style and a longer production plan. The spring and summer recording sessions were both used to produce a single album that was both more professional and longer. By this time, Beat's Myth was recording each instrumental track separately for later mixing, a practice which began in 2007 with the album "Dance 'Till the Music Stops." For the first four albums, the group performed vocals and instrumentals directly into a tape recorder; in 2006, they moved to digital recording, performing and recording music and vocals separately; but recording each instrument separately allowed for mistakes to be fixed, volume to be adjusted, and quality to be improved. Although the band never had the recording technology they would have liked, and quality was a constant struggle, they continued to use this method through their last album, eventually also recording vocal parts separately most of the time.

Beat's Myth likely reached its creative height in 2011 with the album "East Wind." Thematically complex and featuring a variety of musical styles, "East Wind" was reached both new heights of ambition and care. Starting in 2013, however, the band mates found themselves with continually less time to write, record, and finalize their music, and often struggled with waxing and waning interest from each member in devoting much time to the creation of new albums. This led to the re-recording of many older songs, both because it cut down on time in pre-production, but also because quality had improved enough to make it worthwhile. The band's final two albums, "Inverted" and "Mirror," also featured a great deal of experimental material, reflecting a move in the art-film and avant-garde direction in AMPCorp as a whole, but also the band's creative restlessness and inability to put together more complex conventional tracks.

Since about 2013, the band met at the end of each year to reflect and discuss the question: Will this next album be our last? Until December 2016, the answer was always no; there was enough interest and ambition to continue the project further. But after scheduling difficulties and a less than satisfying album in 2016, the band members all agreed that 2017's album should be the last, to ensure that the group would be able to end things on a high note. Thus, "Mirror" was planned with a sentimental look back to the past and an experimental look to the future at the same time. It proved to be a good album with some great material, and all the while maintained Beat's Myth's developing sound and image.

"Fade" appears both as the last track on the album and the final single by the band. Each member contributed vocals or instrumentals to the song, which includes music by Brian and lyrics by Martin -- a combination that produced some of the band's best songs in the past, along with Peter's expert drumming and Emily's haunting backup vocals. As the band's music fades in the wind, "Fade" provides one final echo that the band can be proud of.

What lies in the future for Martin, Brian, Peter, and Emily is uncertain; collaborations are possible, as time and scheduling allows, but because of distance and responsibilities it is most likely that they will appear in solo musical roles or other projects in the future, such as GK Music's new radio dramas. With the loss of their most regular act, GK Music will rely on those new dramas for continued activity, and because they can be edited with different voice actors recording in different locations, they are designed for the new reality AMPCorp has found itself in; one where big production days and large casts are increasingly rare. Nevertheless, GK Music hopes to continue to record music as well, either from former Beat's Myth members as solo artists, or other opportunities which may lay down the road. We thank you for listening over the years, and hope you will stay tuned for what is in store.