It’s hard to picture roving cowboys wandering about in modern times, but if they did exist and possessed musical abilities, they would probably sound something like Beachwood Sparks. There’s nothing brash about their fourth album, The Tarnished Gold, which embodies the pace of a horse grazing at sunset. It’s been 10 years since the band’s Make the Robot Cowboys Cry, and while the new and the old tunes definitely share the same chill vibe, Tarnished Gold acquires a greater collectivity of sound — each member contributes as part of a whole. Here, the vocals serve as a harmonious unit, calling to mind Crosby, Stills & Nash and the nomadic Americana of the 1960s. There’s a sense of calm contentment that runs throughout the record; even lyrics like “My body in funeral, burned in flames” softly emerge from a relaxed shuffle. Ultimately, Tarnished Gold serves as a soothing reminder that there is beauty in the simplest things.
The Tarnished Gold