The Beautiful Fear – ‘Where Influencers Die’

Where Influencers Die is the powerful new album from The Beautiful Fear, the project of English producer/musician Matthew Bannister. A range of dreamy synth-led pop and rousing rock escalations propel a dynamic production. Thematically, poignant reflections on evolving modern life are filled with wit and nuance. The digital age’s contributions to inequality, societal decay, and greed are explored in particular, amidst a compelling existential angst and quest for personal meaning.

“Franklin’s Kite” opens the album with a soaring introspection, as spacious backing textures complement a hypnotic vocal drive that explores hyper-capitalism and over-consumption — and the hypothetical reactions of historical figures. Lyrics like “Christie’s bought the pyramids,” and “a Disney-auctioned bridge,” highlight the commodification and commercialization within eroding pop culture; the album’s gripping thematic aims are set firmly in motion. The previously featured “Back to England” follows with its moody psych-friendly intrigue.

A scathing critique of societal power dynamics and privilege, “Comments on this Post have been Limited” crafts a spacey psych-pop soundscape provides a sense of oppression and helplessness — struggling to make an impact “over the old white men at this party,” and “the greed … the big lie disease.” The piano-laden plea of the title track — “I want to live where influencers die,” — also proves resonant, rising into roaring guitars alongside bright organs. The automation-like feel of inauthenticity is artfully conveyed: “So deep, indeed, profound assist / advise, revise, revisionist.”

“Land of Never Mind” closes the album with captivating allure, moving with an easy-going pace amidst repeated imagery of drones flying overhead and a sense of Big Brother foreboding in the “state TV is fine,” sighing. The accompanying soundscape is tranquil, though set amidst very relevant issues that Bannister delivers with an impactful poignancy.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.