- As Beacon, Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett wrap their music in melancholic introspection. That quality made the duo's 2013 debut album, The Ways We Separate, sometimes feel heavy and dismal. Songs dealt as much with the sensual shapes of R&B acts like The Weeknd as trip-hop's sleepy crawl.
Escapements, Beacon's second album, continues the move towards the dance floor heard on last year's L1 EP. Where the lyrical themes of The Ways We Separate dealt with distance and isolation, mirrored in the music's sparse arrangements, Escapements is preoccupied with time and entropy (the title itself is a reference to clock mechanics).
Beacon set those ideas to music with increased energy. Drum & bass, in its lightest possible form, gives "Cure" a jittery sensation. The breakbeats—provided by Tycho drummer Rory O'Connor—hit pretty hard in "You're Wondering," ending the album with Beacon's version of a dance floor crescendo. "Preserve" also suggests the duo aren't strangers to club music, with its clipped house beat and a structure that has more small peaks and troughs than their earlier tunes.
But if there's a new sense of release in Beacon's music, the same can't be said of their lyrics. A familiar atmosphere of heartbroken reflection and pent-up frustration prevails. Self-absorbed as they may sound, these songs of love, lust and loss can be affecting, occasionally sending the heart aflutter with the same quiet trembles in Mullarney's voice. It's a silken and seductive thing, even making lines like, "No matter how I try to stop / It only gets worse," sound like a come on. If this is bedroom music, though, it's the solitary kind. At least with Escapements there's a sense of the world outside.
03. Running Out
05. Better Or Worse
11. You're Wondering