13 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2013 EP Worms/Year 5772 was the sound of Grass Widow’s Hannah Lew testing her next move. Its acceptance assured her there was life after a successful group. Recorded by Trans Am's Phil Manley at Lucky Cat Studios in her hometown of San Francisco, Over Me captures Lew facing her fears and anxieties head-on with a sound that reflects tension in her soul. “Rain” starts with a ratty bass guitar and a skeletal beat; they move from lo-fi demo to full-pro sound upon the arrival of Lew’s vocals, dipped heavily in reverb. “Tinted Glass” adds a punkish energy that’s further explored on the alienation anthem “Uv.” “Abandon” is a gothic ballad where mechanical drums serve as an unforgiving taskmaster that forces the music to continue on as Lew finds new melodic gears as the song progresses. “Rumors” pushes a paranoiac atmosphere that occasionally resolves for a pop moment worthy of Blondie at their most modern. “Wave” works similarly, capturing both Deborah Harry’s pop sense and that cold, futuristic aloofness that creates a cool of its own. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2013 EP Worms/Year 5772 was the sound of Grass Widow’s Hannah Lew testing her next move. Its acceptance assured her there was life after a successful group. Recorded by Trans Am's Phil Manley at Lucky Cat Studios in her hometown of San Francisco, Over Me captures Lew facing her fears and anxieties head-on with a sound that reflects tension in her soul. “Rain” starts with a ratty bass guitar and a skeletal beat; they move from lo-fi demo to full-pro sound upon the arrival of Lew’s vocals, dipped heavily in reverb. “Tinted Glass” adds a punkish energy that’s further explored on the alienation anthem “Uv.” “Abandon” is a gothic ballad where mechanical drums serve as an unforgiving taskmaster that forces the music to continue on as Lew finds new melodic gears as the song progresses. “Rumors” pushes a paranoiac atmosphere that occasionally resolves for a pop moment worthy of Blondie at their most modern. “Wave” works similarly, capturing both Deborah Harry’s pop sense and that cold, futuristic aloofness that creates a cool of its own. 

TITLE TIME
2:15
2:28
2:28
2:40
2:26
2:46
4:10
3:22
3:02
3:04
2:36
4:05
3:05

About Cold Beat

Named for a song by the Sound, Cold Beat is the post-punk-inspired project of Hannah Lew, also the bassist for San Francisco's acclaimed trio Grass Widow. Lew began writing Cold Beat songs in the late 2000s while working with Grass Widow and establishing herself as a filmmaker and visual artist; when the band decided to go on hiatus after releasing 2012's Internal Logic, Lew focused on Cold Beat in earnest (meanwhile, drummer Lillian Maring pursued her own project, Ruby Pins). She took Neon Piss guitarist Kyle King, Shannon & the Clams guitarist/synth player Cody Blanchard, and Maring into the studio; 2013's single Worms/Year 5772 was the first fruit of those sessions to be officially released on Lew's own Crime on the Moon label. Cold Beat returned in 2014 as a trio featuring Lew, King, and Erase Errata drummer Bianca Sparta; the band's debut album, Over Me, appeared that July. By the time the band's synth-tinged second album, Into Air, arrived in September 2015, the lineup featured Lew, King, drummer Susi Leni, and guitarist Jackson Blumgart. Lew wrote and recorded most of 2017's Chaos by Invitation on her own, later bringing in Trans Am's Phil Manley and Total Control's Mikey Young for additional tracking. ~ Heather Phares

  • ORIGIN
    San Francisco , CA
  • FORMED
    2009

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