The Beths are back and pining for lasting change with the new song “A Real Thing.”
The New Zealand rockers toggle between dreamy pop-infused guitars and a jarring, fretful chorus. Lead singer Liz Stokes opens with an image of regular people attempting to battle climate change. “Picking up the tires from the side of the road/ Gonna push back the coming tide,” she sings. But the chorus undercuts the sentiment: “Getting rhyme over reason,” she wails, implying that while such actions sound good in theory, they’re not helping in the long run. She continues, “It’s a sinister silly season/ Maybe we can end up meaning a real thing.”
“‘A Real Thing’ is a kind of anxiety dream. It’s a bit muddled, a bit frantic, a bit sinister,” Stokes said in a statement. “‘A Real Thing’ is what came out of my guitar in late 2020, post NZ election (and U.S. election). I was limply reaching for optimism about the future, but was really just marinating in dread. In NZ people sometimes use tyres and cement to build retaining walls by the water, to try to stop the land being eroded away as the sea encroaches. It doesn’t really work.”
The track comes with a music video directed by Sports Team. It slices together footage of New Zealand life: high-rise buildings, beaches, cacti, and black-flecked piles of snow. Check it out below.