Dirty Beaches is like nothing I’ve heard lately, or even recently, and man, is that ever a good thing. Just as I was despairing of the lack of ingenuity, ideas and sounds in everything I’ve been hearing lately, I happen across Alex Zhang Hungtai, aka Dirty Beaches, a Taiwanese Canadian indie kid doing fantastically noirish 50s pyschobilly/ rock’n'roll/noise pop with a side order of Brylcreem, Elvis and David Lynch. Thank god!
Dirty Beaches released his first full-length album, the crackling, reverb-drenched piece of lo-fi nostalgia, Badlands, earlier this year, after amassing quite a large back catalogue of soundtracks, EPs and 7″s. Also, I love how he’s used old photos of his parents on his record sleeves – apparently his Dad used to sing in rock’n'rolll bands in the 60s in Taiwan before moving to Vancouver and becoming a real estate agent. Bet he’s super proud of his boy now.
I don’t think this is the official video for ‘A Hundred Highways’ but I love this track, it’s my favourite from Badlands:
Badlands is out now on Zoo Records.
- Dirty Beaches | 10.10.2011 | Bush Hall (sexbeatlondon.com)
- David Lynch’s strange new influence on underground music (guardian.co.uk)
- Purity Ring, King Krule, Dirty Beaches to Play Pitchfork Festival Paris Parties (pitchfork.com)