“Freud called the religious experience the oceanic feeling, or a feeling of oneness with the universe. As such, I am using the sea as a metaphor for the religious experience in all of its various forms in our lives.”
– Chase Brown of Senseless Beatings
Far too often the process of an album is one of compiling a few songs from a long list of options, thrown together because a producer and/or musician feels they fit together well enough, practiced for a few weeks, and then laid down at a studio where it will be mixed, mastered and distributed all within a month or so. The end result can quickly become a mess and is easily evident in the release.
For the follow up to We Will Walk Into the Sea, Rock Hill’s Senseless Beatings did not throw the record together in haste and it most definitely did not come out within a few short months. When I sat down with Chase Brown, mastermind behind the music, in March of 2012 we discussed Remembering the Shore. The time it took to get to this point was built upon one part DIY and one part not rushing well-thought-out, provoking lyrics.
Throughout the record lyrically and instrumentally, despite the lighter flute at the forefront, the album plays out under a dark shroud which feels much deeper than previous work. Successfully, the large cerebral presence of Senseless Beatings continues. But at times the record becomes a bit more than I anticipated I’d be hit with. Now, I want to make it perfectly clear that this did not detract in any way. In fact, the honesty and direct emotion of “Faith” is so raw that you can’t help but be drawn into the track and the loss. It is poignant and all too real. I see this as a testament to a quality writing style that holds nothing back. Crafted from “more of an existential exploration of everyday struggles and sadness,” Remembering the Shore is a labor of love seen, not as a flowery “butterflies and rainbows,” but as an honest love and life that has seen heartache. It holds on to a social commentary, as seen with “Love What You’ll Never Believe Twice” as well. Overall, I found myself moved and slightly uncomfortable in part because music just isn’t written like this. Although now I say we need more of it.
It almost goes without mention that this is something that will most certainly not get any mainstream play, but I believe that is not due to lack of quality from Senseless Beatings. Remembering the Shore is their jazz infused art/philosophical sound turned into a much more elaborative and successful body than their previous work. This is a band that has fans that know what they like and this is an album that is sure to satisfy their hunger for more. If you are not yet a fan of Senseless Beatings, I suggest you take the time to get to know them.