About Michael Beach
A guitarist and songwriter whose primal music betrays a sophisticated undercurrent, Michael Beach has won a following for his own work as well as his gigs accompanying others. Beach's guitar style is straightforward but authoritative, and paired with his stripped-down melodies, many of his releases fall into the broad category of modern garage punk. But he's also willing to throw electronics and adventurous production techniques into the mix, and his lyrics are literate and personal while maintaining an unpretentious outlook. 2013's Golden Theft was an elemental rock album with a dash of jangle pop in the guitars, 2017's Gravity/Repulsion was a (relatively) more polished effort that explored the use of keyboards, and 2021's Dream Violence found a middle ground between those two approaches with its taut, guitar-driven tunes and washes of electronic sound.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Michael Beach has been dividing his time between Northern California and Australia since his days as a student. During his final year in college, Beach studied in Melbourne, Australia, where he befriended a handful of local musicians and began collaborating with them. After completing his degree, Beach had trouble finding like-minded musicians in Los Angeles, and he went back to Melbourne in 2005, where he would spend the next five years. He co-founded the band Electric Jellyfish, who released their debut cassette, The Woods, in 2008, the same year Beach brought out a solo EP, Blood Courses. A self-titled Electric Jellyfish EP arrived in 2010, but that same year, Beach fell afoul of problems with his visa, and he was forced to return to the United States. He initially spent time in Portland, Oregon, where he recorded a 7" vinyl EP titled A Horse, but would soon settle in Oakland, California and start work 2013's Golden Theft, largely composed of songs he wrote during his last months in Melbourne. Over the next several years, Beach would frequently travel back and forth between America and Australia, and along with writing and recording his own material, he performed regularly with the Aussie band Thigh Master and backed Israeli cult hero Charlie Megira. In 2017, during a stay in San Francisco, Beach recorded the album Gravity/Repulsion, and in 2020, he teamed with Peter Warden for the project Brain Drugs, who issued a self-titled vinyl LP in 2020. By that time, Beach had finally smoothed out the red tape that allowed him to stay and work in Australia as a citizen, and in 2021, he delivered Dream Violence, half of which was recorded Oakland with Kelley Stoltz as producer, while the rest was cut in Australia with help from members of Thigh Master. The album was released by the maverick Memphis label Goner Records. ~ Mark Deming