Beachwood Sparks returns with first new album in 11 years

It’s been a long time: Beachwood Sparks returns June 26 with “Tarnished Gold,” the band’s first LP in 11 years.

The alt-country band, formed in 1997, managed two LPs and an EP before the musicians went their separate ways in 2002, doing things like playing in other bands (including Interpol and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti), earning degrees and working for IKEA’s environmental recovery division. No, really.

But seemingly no split is permanent anymore, and a version of Beachwood Sparks reunited in 2008 to play Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary party. That went well enough that the seminal lineup — singer/guitarist Christopher Gunst, singer/bassist Brent Rademaker, singer/multi-instrumentalist Farmer Dave Scher and drummer Aaron Sperske — figured they might as well make a new album, with help from auxiliary members Neal Casal, Jimi Hey, Dan Horne and Jen Cohen.

The band admirably recaptured the hazy, laid-back vibe of its earlier records, judging by free song “Forget the Song,” which is full of low-key vocal harmonies and swells of pedal guitar. Check it out:

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