Live Virtual Session: The Beths

Elizabeth Stokes and Jonathan Pearce join Jade for a Live Virtual Session. (MPR Video)

"Isolation was a good time for reflection," said Jonathon Pearce of The Beths during a virtual session hosted by Jade. "When normal life started creeping back in, I wasn't really ready for it, and it made me quite grumpy. I hadn't finished my reflecting time, and I hadn't perfected my sauerkraut recipe."

Pearce and Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths called in from their rehearsal studio in New Zealand, where COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly, and community transmission of the virus has essentially been eliminated. They discussed how they are beginning to see some semblance of normalcy in their lives since the coronavirus outbreak began, in that they are gearing up to release an album and to play their first in-person, live show in a while. Their new album, Jump Rope Gazers, comes out on July 10, and the next day, they will be performing in Auckland.

"We find it difficult to connect with people over the internet," Pearce said. When asked about what they missed most about the live music environment, Stokes and Pearce said that they are looking forward to playing new songs live and seeing how people react to them. They said that what they missed most was live feedback and a real interaction.

New Zealand's position in regard to the coronavirus is, at the moment, quite different from other areas of the globe. Pearce noted how because of this, it often feels awkward to talk positively about playing shows again, but he says that it doesn't have to be. "I'm happy to say [that] we have a show," he said. "We are excited about playing it. We feel very lucky to be doing it."

"We were quite lucky with our lockdown," Stokes said. She and Pearce discussed how, as musicians in New Zealand, they felt supported by their country's government, which made their quarantine relatively easy. They mentioned that it was very possible to rethink their plans without panicking, and that they felt lucky to be able to reflect and work on new material.

The themes on their new album involve difficulties with communication and the physical and emotional distance between friends and loved ones that often occurred throughout the last few months. Stokes and Pearce recognized that it can be uncomfortable releasing and promoting music when there is so much going on in the world, and so much news to take in.

"It feels awful," said Stokes. "It doesn't feel great to be taking up space."

"[It] calls for a lot of reflection and a lot of conversations, and then trying to have those conversations publicly, as well," Pearce continued. "We're releasing an album as all of this has been going on. It's been a lot to do, and a lot to think about."

Songs Performed


10:25 "I'm Not Getting Excited"
21:25 "Future Me Hates Me"
Song one is the title track from the Beths' 2018 release; song two is from the Beths' forthcoming album, Jump Rope Gazers, releasing July 10, 2020. Both are available on Carpark Records/Rough Trade.

Hosted by Jade
Produced by Jesse Wiza
Engineered by Eric Romani
Article by Sylvia Jennings

External Link

The Beths - official site

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5 Photos

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    Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths performing at Rock the Garden 2019 (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The Beths perform at Rock the Garden 2019
    Jonathan Pearce of The Beths performing at Rock the Garden 2019 (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The Beths perform at Rock the Garden 2019
    Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths performing at Rock the Garden 2019 (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The Beths perform at Rock the Garden 2019
    The Beths perform at Rock the Garden 2019 (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The Beths perform at Rock the Garden 2019
    The Beths perform at Rock the Garden 2019 (Nate Ryan | MPR)