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by Cold Beat

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tuschfleck Fantastic new wave, synthpop retro style mix of a quite diverse set of songs. And it works as an album, not jsut a collection of songs. It's beautiful, it has power, it's melancholic and from time to time there are some fine cracks on the surface and something deeply disturbing can be sensed. Favorite track: Flat Earth.
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PJSNICMS Blissfull album, every play I pick up on something new to appreciate and love. Prism is an instant classic but for me Pearls is absolutely stunning! Favorite track: Pearls.
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rbrow02y Caught a track on Henry Rollins’ KCRW show and had to snag the vinyl immediately. There is something about this album that completely hits something I’ve been needing, to just start on the first track and let the whole thing ride to the end. It’s great. Favorite track: Double Sided Mirror.
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Smoke 01:48
Prism 04:22 video
Paper 03:28
Pearls 05:44
Gloves 03:29
Through 04:00
Mother 02:34
Crimes 03:16


San Francisco band Cold Beat make their DFA debut with Mother, a collection of ten pop transmissions from Earth, 2020.

Wound tight with an energy that ricochets from one song into the next, Mother was made while frontperson Hannah Lew (formerly of indie trio Grass Widow) was pregnant and considering the chaotic conditions of the world she was bringing a new human into. If we consider Mother an artistic style guide through space and time, the framework Cold Beat provide is overcast by design but focused in execution; locked-in drums and synths with choir-like melodies high above it all.

“I found myself trying to describe our earth to a new human who had never been here,” says Lew. “It was a bleak year to be pregnant, but I was simultaneously filled with so much love and hope at the same time. I remember feeling a sense of wanting to show my whole range of self to this new person I was about to meet. In past albums, I sometimes held my artistic self in an ethereal place, but I found myself wanting to be very much on this earth and grounded during the creation of this record.”

The A-side of Mother presents the facts as we perceive them, while the B-side accelerates into the uncertain. Each of the first five track titles is one evocative word: the synths on “Prism” slide against the motorik guitar riffs and the plaintive saxophone on “Paper” casts the Leonard Cohen-esque melody in a melancholy shadow; “Gloves” is a real mood, all drive. Everything begins to unfurl from there. “Will it be over if there’s no sound?” Lew wonders on album standout “Double Sided Mirror,” and then ruminates, “it won’t be long until you find me in the beyond” on the more upbeat “Crimes.” The early architects of these sonic settings—Eurythmics, The Human League, Depeche Mode—act as touchstones and inspiration.

One of the most prescient things Mother teaches is that existence will not be, and has not ever been, a solitary experience. “It's really the first album where the project felt more like a band,” Lew says. “In a lot of ways, it feels like our first album.” And though four LPs (released on Dark Entries and Lew’s own label Crime On The Moon) precede this one, Mother is Cold Beat at their most concentrated and crystalline. It’s an honest, forgiving, and ultimately optimistic team effort from a band busy being born, re-born and giving life.


released February 28, 2020

Tracks 1 & 9 written by Hannah Lew, Kyle King and Sean Monaghan
Tracks 2-8 written by Hannah Lew, Kyle King, Sean Monaghan and Luciano Talpini Aita
Track 10 written by Hannah Lew and Sean Monaghan

Lyrics by Hannah Lew
Mixed by Mikey Young
Mastered by Joe Lambert


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