Drew Beskin & The Sunshine: Letting the Music Write Itself

After a decade of releasing albums as a solo artist and collaborating with a variety of well-known local musicians, Drew Beskin was destined to problem for the people, released in July 2021, will be his last release for at least a while. But we all know plans change, and during the COVID lockdown Beskin found himself immersed in a project organically building up and taking it for the ride.

Drew Beskin & The Sunshine, consisting of Tommy Trautwein, Elijah Johnston and Gideon Johnston, are set to release the album Somewhere on the side like you Friday, September 23. Although Beskin leads the band, the new album is largely a collaborative effort with his bandmates, all of whom have steadily made names for themselves in the indie rock circuit. The product is guitar-focused indie soft rock with pop undertones reminiscent of their influences, namely Beskin’s favorite band, Oasis, and the band’s mutual love of the Beatles.

Karmen Smith

Beskin met Trautwein and Elijah while working at the Georgia Theater, developing a friendship out of mutual admiration for each other’s music. At the time of the COVID lockdown, Beskin had just finished working on a record but texted Trautwein, who lived within walking distance, to book time with Trautwein and Elijah to record a unique song he had written. Beskin hadn’t expected Gideon to be at that first session as well, but that seemed to be fate.

“That day we recorded the whole track, which was different for me because every time I made a record, I always spent time before like writing all the songs at once, having them ready to go. studio and then set aside some time,” Beskin explains. “There was no expectation of making a record, and we just went in there and made a song and recorded everything at the end of the day. It was just very, very cathartic.

So Beskin wrote another song, texted the guys, and recorded a second track in one session, then a third track. By the end of the third session, the semblance of an album began to form. Over the course of a year, the band continued to record songs in the same fashion, with Beskin bringing freshly written material into the studio without too many preconceptions or attachments to what it should sound like. The 11-track album is structured in the order the songs were recorded and takes the listener on a true journey of the development of Drew Beskin & The Sunshine. You can hear how the band’s increasing ease in recording with each other turns into more adventurous songwriting.

“Because of that process, it felt more organic to me than making the other kind of records, to me at least, because it just felt more pure. If you’re going into the studio and you’ve got 10 or 12 songs prepared, you might be going a little too fast and not really giving each song the attention it deserves. And when you bring a song to the studio to focus on [for] one day, it’s better if the song is good enough to hold everyone’s interest for an entire day,” Beskin says. “I think that’s the only way to do it now.”

Karmen Smith

Since the last track on the album was completed in April 2021, and there was never any pressure to make a record to be released in the first place, the band has focused on filming live sessions. live and music videos to accompany the official release. Several of them will be available in the coming weeks before the release of the album on Friday, October 28 at the Ciné. Drew Beskin & The Sunshine recently played a live show together for the first time at the September Days Festival, and the hope is that fans can familiarize themselves with the songs ahead of the release show. Taking place over Halloween weekend, it will be a celebration (costume encouraged) focused on fun.

The show’s program will have violinist Annie Leeth open with Drew Beskin & The Sunshine to follow, but Beskin, Trautwein and the Johnstons will close the show with a separate Beatles cover set. The four musicians are each heavily inspired by the Beatles, and the legendary English rock band has always been a common language between them. Entrants can anticipate some of the hits from the set list, but the goal is to pull songs from each of the Beatles’ records, including some unexpected bits. Beskin says that Somewhere on the side like you tells a complete story in chapters, so having the album release show in a movie theater seems like a good way to wrap it all up.

“Because of these guys, I was able to create what I think is my sonically favorite record, as well as push the boundaries for me, at least, of what a record could be,” Beskin says. “It’s kind of like a once-in-a-lifetime thing in terms of songwriting, being creative, and just like making a record. I felt no pressure.

WHO: Drew Beskin & The Sunshine, Annie Leeth
WHEN: Friday, October 28, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Cinema
HOW MANY: $12 (advanced), $15