Is it art-rock? Avant-garde jazz? Indie-rock? Prog? Electronica? Post-rock? Experimental hip-hop? Sonic collage? When it comes to Please Advise, the latest EP from one-of-a-kind D.C. outfit Beauty Pill, the only answer that makes sense is Yes. Unless it’s No. Or maybe All Of The Above. Except sometimes. Whatever the case, this inspired, cerebral and impeccably crafted collection of multi-faceted musical eclecticism and eccentricity is one of the most daring, distinctive and downright cool albums you’ll hear this week. And I haven’t even mentioned that it might have the best cover of The Pretenders’ Tattooed Love Boys I’ve ever heard. It’s the cure for boredom.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “The title of this record was inspired by our circumstance. Please Advise is a liminal work. A document of a time of uncertainty and fragmentation. I’m proud of this record, but it’s not perfect. I will go one step further: I’m proud of this record because it’s not perfect. All I wanna do is keep moving. Please Advise meets this criterion. For me, at least. I hope people find it valuable. We named our record Please Advise after producer Teo Macero’s famous 1969 memo to Columbia Records about Miles Davis (“Miles just called and said he wants this album to be titled BITCHES BREW. Please advise.”) It’s darkly funny to us now, but I bet it wasn’t funny to Teo then. I find that memo to be encouraging. Even in working with an artist as brilliant and masterful as Miles Davis, there were moments of uncertainty and maybe even panic. Like “What is this motherfucker doing?” panic. There’s probably no aesthetic connection between Miles Davis and Beauty Pill, but that memo makes me feel better about my own path. It’s okay if sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s okay if sometimes you don’t know what I’m doing either. The paradox of any artist’s life is you need to cultivate confidence AND humility to survive. But you know what? That’s the paradox of your life too.”