My Sweet Beloved are a Dublin based band featuring a stellar cast of musicians who have all respectively achieved a lot. They include Derek Byrne of Autumn Owls, Anton Hegarty of Future Kings of Spain and A Lazarus Soul, Dan Devlin of Moskowitz, and Danielle Harrison Byrne from Los Angeles, who previously fronted Skindive during the late 1990s and early noughties. Together, this new band create a bracing and intoxicating mix of noise and melody.
On the opening track and lead single The Invitation, Harrison Byrne's voice soars over a sparse and minimal arrangement. On Infernal Fires they bring a heavier sound to the party, while Sweet Fresh Meats shows they know how to craft a catchy pop song.
Stubborn Change is even better, a dark and bittersweet tune that's reminiscent of dream pop duo Curve.
MSB deliver a startling 10-track collection of cracking alternative guitar pop. All songs bar one (the aforementioned Infernal Fires) are written by Danielle Harrison Byrne, who also co-produces the album with Les Keye. Joe Chester of A Lazarus Soul does a sterling job on mastering while another scene stalwart, Mark Colbert, contributes percussion to some tracks.
This self-titled album is an assured and arresting debut from a highly talented and accomplished collective.
Sadly, My Sweet Beloved's live plans have been put on ice until further notice, but there's still plenty here to admire in the meantime.