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In 2011, local art rockers Beauty Pill recorded an album in public, converting the black box theater in Artisphere into a studio and mic-ing the action for passersby to hear from an observation window above. A few months later, the band premiered a version of the new album in an installation at the Rosslyn arts center, but more than a year later, the only Beauty Pill music we’ve been able to hear at home has been the awesome “Afrikaner Barista” as well as scattered stems and other musical nuggets frontman/producer Chad Clark has posted to the band’s Soundcloud account.
For evidence that a new Beauty Pill full-length is in fact taking shape, click to that Soundcloud page, where today Clark posted a “restoration draft” of “Near Miss Stories,” another song from the Artisphere sessions. It’s the only Beauty Pill song, Clark told me in 2011, that directly addresses the heart ailment that nearly killed him in 2007—-a life-changing event for Clark, he’s said, that accelerated his interest in electronic music. As much as any of the Beauty Pill songs, “Near Miss Stories” exemplifies the six-piece band’s new marriage of organic arrangements and hospital-room electronics: Clark started working on the song on his laptop while recovering from heart surgery, and at Artisphere, the band figured out parts to replace and complement the existing electronic sketch.
“Near Miss Stories” is also its own near-miss story: It was one of the songs the band had to recover after it lost music from the sessions in a hard-drive crash. Take a listen below, and quickly: Clark tweeted that he’ll take down the song later today.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery