Genre-defying, Los Angeles-based quartet Glass Beach self-released their debut LP, the first glass beach album, in May—now, the album is coming to vinyl for the first time, as well as CD and cassette, courtesy of Boston-based indie label Run For Cover Records. Preorders are open now ahead of the album’s new release on Jan. 24, 2020.
To celebrate their signing to Run For Cover, Glass Beach—vocalist and bandleader “Classic” J McClendon (they/them), drummer William White (they/them), bassist Jonas Newhouse (they/them) and lead guitarist Layne Smith (he/him)—have shared the video for album opener “classic j dies and goes to hell part 1,” co-directed by J and White.
The video imagines a “Strategies for Success in BUSINESS and LIFE” seminar run by the band, in which a dapper Classic J presents the song’s somber opening verses alongside a Powerpoint. Soon enough, they’re joined by White, Newhouse and Smith as “classic j dies and goes to hell part 1” opens up into an irresistible prog-pop jam, downshifts into a hushed, horn-accentuated bridge, and then throttles back up into full-on power-punk thrash. Meanwhile, the seminar attendees encircle Classic J, discovering their camaraderie (a key strategy for success in BUSINESS and LIFE, it would appear) even as J loses their grip, “dies and goes to hell.” In other words, they—and all of us—are party to “what can only be described as the Glass Beach experience,” as a presser puts it.
Glass Beach date back to 2015, when J moved to L.A. from their Burleson, Texas, hometown and began demoing tracks. Their solo project Casio Dad caught the attention of White and Newhouse, who relocated to L.A. to live and start a band with J. The trio spent the ensuing three years recording and re-recording their 15-track debut, experimenting with numerous permutations of each song concept, and later recruiting Smith to record parts originally performed by J, as well as to fill out the band’s live sound.
Watch the “classic j dies and goes to hell part 1” video below. You can preorder the first glass beach album via Run for Cover right here.