Acclaimed modern Americana duo Beta Radio has announced the release of their new album. YEAR OF LOVE arrives via Nettwerk Records on Friday, June 11.
Written and recorded over the course of 2020, YEAR OF LOVE sees the Wilmington, NC-based duo – Benjamin “Ben” Mabry and Brent Holloman – taking a moment to breathe in life’s simplest inspiration and, ultimately, urging everyone else to do the same. The album collects songs first featured on Beta Radio’s recently released WAY OF LOVE and AFRAID OF LOVE EPs alongside four brand new tracks including the evocative new instrumental single “The Lowlands,” premiering today at all DSPs and streaming services.
“From the beginning, we’ve always loved writing instrumental songs,” says Brent Holloman. “‘The Lowlands’ is an exercise in trying to hold the tension for as long as possible musically speaking, while still being (hopefully) enjoyable. We wanted it to not be predictable, but to flow from one part to another. Finding bits and pieces of it along the way, it came together over a few years.”
LISTEN TO “THE LOWLANDS”
Beta Radio first heralded YEAR OF LOVE earlier this month with the premiere of the passionate title track, hailed by Glide Magazine as “engaging and forthright in its conviction” and available now at all streaming and download services.
LISTEN TO “YEAR OF LOVE”
“YEAR OF LOVE is a collection of songs from the year of the pandemic,” says Beta Radio. “These are songs that were written and recorded while we – Brent and Ben – were isolating together. This is the first time we’ve written a group of songs that, from the outset, had no theme or plan, (we had done a lot of thematic album writing and we were tired of it). But as last year progressed, from one tragedy to another, the thing we kept thinking about was love. It seemed right to call the whole thing YEAR OF LOVE, not just because the last song has the same name, but more than that, because we dig redemption and healing, and seeing the tragedy and sorrow of the past year made it seem even more necessary. 2020 was a global tragedy. But sometimes it takes tragedy and absolute breakdown to bring about a breakthrough and hopefully, understanding and love. Maybe this year will bring more of that."
Rooted in vocal harmonies, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, banjo, and an eclectic range of additional instrumentation and soulful arrangements. Beta Radio has quietly crafted a catalog of anthems steeped in folk tradition and galvanized by sonic adventurism. Over the course of three albums and a lifetime of friendship, Mabry and Holloman have generated more than 150M streams for such standout tracks as “On The Frame,” “Tongue Tied,” and “Our Remains,” the latter two songs featured on the duo’s widely acclaimed third album and Nettwerk debut, 2018’s ANCIENT TRANSITION.
Beta Radio began writing what would become YEAR OF LOVE at the onset of 2020. The world shut down and though chaos and sadness ensued, Ben and Brent remained steadfast in their Wilmington studio. The duo broke from their traditional structure by releasing music as it came together rather than waiting to finish a full project. Tracks such as “Destined To Pretend“ were met by immediate applause, with Glide Magazine hailing “the duo’s shimmering folksy Americana,” noting, “(Beta Radio) craft a warm sonic backdrop from arpeggiated synth and strings as delicately plucked acoustic guitar upholds lilting vocals while meditating simultaneously on themes of hope and pain.” “It Doesn’t Really Feel Like Spring“ followed and received equivalent acclaim, with American Songwriter praising it as “tranquil and layered, opening with a meditative synth part around which Mabry and Holloman built the rest of the arrangement.”
LISTEN TO “DESTINED TO PRETEND”
LISTEN TO “IT DOESN’T REALLY FEEL LIKE SPRING”
WAY OF LOVE arrived in August, highlighted by a sweeping title track featuring The National’s Bryan Devendorf on drums and horns by veteran trumpeter/arranger CJ Camerieri (Paul Simon, Bon Iver). Released in January 2021, AFRAID OF LOVE collected additional new material that emerged in the latter half of the year, including the title track, featuring strings from GRAMMY® Award-winning musician/arranger Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Taylor Swift, Alabama Shakes) and joined by a powerful music video streaming now at YouTube HERE.
LISTEN TO “WAY OF LOVE”
WATCH “AFRAID OF LOVE”
“On this album, we took what we learned from our last record, structured it, organized it, and told more of a story,” says Holloman. “Every six weeks over the past year, we turned in a song. So, it felt like we gave every song its own personality.”
“This was our pandemic project,” says Mabry. “It’s the first time we started without a theme. However, it ended up being more unified than anything we’ve ever done.
YEAR OF LOVE
Release Date: Friday, June 11
There’s Something I Want To Say
Afraid of Love
Don’t Leave Me Behind
It Doesn’t Really Feel Like Spring
Way of Love
Destined to Pretend
I Need My Prayers
Inside A Wave
Year of Love