Band of the Week: Beach Stav

Meet the Band: Jon Conley (vocals), Michael Conley (guitar), Adam Barry (drums), Dan Kowalski (bass), Dan Cooley (guitar)

A Family Affair: The band started five or six years ago when Conley began a solo project. His brother Pat originally joined the group, and it became a two-piece. "He's having a bunch of babies, so bands went on the backburner for him," says Jon Conley as he explains how Pat left the group and it then morphed into a five-piece. "My young brother recently moved back from California, and he's just a genius and we started writing. My whole family is musical, and Michael is the bottom of the funnel. He collected all the good stuff from the top. My older brother Chris plays too, and he did the mixing on our new album."

Genre Defying: The group describes its music as dark glam, freak folk, psychedelic, R&B, rock, punk, ambient, indie, garage. "We throw a lot of labels at it," says Conley. "We're doing dark, folky glammy stuff. We have a lot of R&B influence too. The record is pretty dark. I've always liked the glam aspect because it allows you to be humorous if you want. Throughout the years, we've tried to tap into our influences. We've been into Motown and R&B. We like '90s R&B acts like Maxwell, D'Angelo and Usher. We want to roll that into one. When we can get darker or weirder, there is an opportunity to do new and different things."

Where You Can Hear

Why You Should Hear Them: The band takes a decidedly experimental approach on its new album, Future Heavy, which commences with the trippy "Milquetoast," a song that features whispered vocals set to a gentle guitar melody that sounds like something from a Pink Floyd tune. The guys recorded the album themselves at a Bay Village basement. "We spent the first four months of the year writing and recording," says Conley. "We did release some online material to get it out there. The record is eight songs. We've been fans of brevity. The recording process was Mike and I. We did the work ourselves. We wanted to let sounds expand and play off a studio atmosphere. We let things fester like a petri dish. It was awesome and a cool way to do things. We're self-releasing the album and the initial run will be a few hundred, and [local graphic artist] John G. is doing the artwork. We will do small batches and might change the artwork. Vinyl would be a great platform for John G.'s art, but we need to get through this first batch." The album will also be available as a digital download through Amazon.

Where You Can See Them: Beach Stav performs with ITEM, Uno Lady, Jivviden and DJ Party Sweat at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 3, at Mahall's.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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