We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Standout Track: No. 1, “Hazy,” a psych-pop song that’s not as sunny as it seems. The track derives an upbeat sheen from its Lennonesque vocals, pleasant guitar jangle, and happy Farfisa organ tones, but darkness hangs over songwriter Dan McNabb’s seemingly uplifting tune. “I look for the sun to burn out my eyes/’Cause what I’ve become comes as no surprise,” he sings.
Musical Motivation: McNabb’s record collection. A self-described record nerd, McNabb seeks out rare ’60s garage and psych albums. But in the last year, the multi-instrumentalist says he “rediscovered” new music. “I got burned out on buying a lot of old music,” says McNabb, who lives in Arlington. “There’s so much new stuff going out right now that’s not necessarily copying or trying to recreate the ’60s, but is really heavily influenced by that.” McNabb says Beginner’s Mynd comes from the same place as ’60s-driven contemporary bands like Maston and Night Beats.
Wise Guy: The “y” in the band name nods to ’60s bands that did the same (like The Byrds), and “beginner’s mind” is a Buddhist reference that holds special meaning for McNabb. “In the past, I was interested in Eastern philosophy and exploring that as a calming measure to try to figure out how to deal with the stress and all the other stuff when I was in school,” he says. The concept comes from the idea that the beginner sees limitless possibilities, while the expert sees few.
Listen to “Hazy” after the jump.