click here to sample the entire album!

track listing:
1. the great decline click to listen
2. radio started click to listen
3. the ticket click to listen
4. chemical control click to listen
5. song for dad  click to listen
6. over the counter click to listen

New Bethel
"inside the blue vera" (limited edition tour cdep)
release date: may 2002
only 2 left in stock, hurry before it goes out of print!!

The debut (ep) by Los Angeles indie trio New Bethel is an intriguing blend of slightly twee indie pop sounds (guitarist Aaron Buckley and organist Molly Williams both favor the uncertain pitch and slightly clashing harmonies of the K Records crowd) and more complex post-rock-style song structures. The lengthy, meandering songs usually move through several distinct musical sections, often ending up somewhere entirely musically unrelated to where they began. The combination of minimal, live-sounding production (it doesn't sound like there are any overdubs on the entire record) and the fairly sophisticated arrangements gives Inside the Blue Vera an immediacy that's often lacking from post-rock, and the open-ended song structures give the album a bit more musical heft than many indie pop releases. Although the album starts off on a slightly wrong footing with the yelping "The Great Decline," things quickly take a turn for the better with the pulsating, organ-led instrumental "Radio Started," which sounds like a lo-fi iteration of early Stereolab. The album's high point, however, is the rattling seven-minute closer, "Over the Counter," which starts with a lovely waltz-time intro, segues gracefully into the album's best vocal section, and ends up as an elongated free-form jam.
—Stewart Mason, AllMusicGuide.com


"new bethel has found the perfect balance between charming amateurism and impressive skill, resulting in a fairly impressive debut mini-album, inside the blue vera... do not be fooled, though, by new bethel's smile; much like beat happening, underneath the charm of innocence flows a river of experience. they know what they're doing, and even though they seem quite loose--they're actually quite tight; they've toured up and down the land over the past few years--without an album to support! witness inside the blue vera. it's a collection of new-wave driven indiepunk pop that is deceptively simple... new bethel's wreckless interplay between mellow instrumental passages and art-rock codas mixed in with indiepop songs sung with arty indie-rock vocals certainly makes for one interesting mix... they're certainly one to keep a keen eye on for the future."
-joseph kyle, mundane sounds

"an utterly charming trio of pop explorers from L.A., new bethel have slipped a great, organ-frosted box of assorted songs on to the plates of indie fans, in the form of inside the blue vera. take the bright new-wave guitars, often-rowdy vocals, and the pop skeletons of these six songs, and you'd have half the bands you hear on good indie radio beat by a mile. but instead of the synth-y plinks and robo-notes of the casios and yamahas that put the zoomy flair in new new wave, molly william's subversively bouncy organ takes new bethel into a more experimental and playful world than most rock kids dare enter. ...spin once and you're sucked into a chaotic lovefest of buzzy noise pop; next time you'll be swooped up in a zippy dance lilt, freckled with perfect bits of distortion and just a little bit of trouble... assuming the brilliant inventiveness that makes this band so promising doesn't grow into too much of a good thing, we can expect good things to come of new bethel."
-shawna ervin-gore , indiepop.com

"coming from a slightly post-punk angle, new bethel manage to take indie-rock and mix with many different ingredients. not overly twee or overly angular, new bethel manage to find a happy mixture of the two. among the more interesting features of new bethel is the interplay between vocalists molly williams and aaron buckley. their vocals are a combination of short and spiky shouts and cute and cuddly whispers... "inside the blue vera" is quite a good record for a band who has spent less time in the studio then they have at truck stops. the bands ability at creating hooky songs out of a post punk, lo-fi, pop environment should see them develop into a great band with brilliant songs."
-paul, firstcoastnews.com

"right from the start, this disc is impressive. "the great decline" is a cheerful piece of melodic pop music that is a bit over-excuberant but still good fun. "radio started" follows and takes things a notch further; williams' delicious organ playing is the highlight of the lo-fi, surprisingly melodic instrumental. the rest of the unfairly short disc flies by in a whiz of male/female vocal indie rock ("the ticket"), poppy instrumentalism ("song for dad"), and epic pop ("over the counter.") all in all, inside the blue vera is a very, very enjoyable indie pop ep that I will be listening to for a long time. while it's difficult to peg down just what is so great about this disc, it's impossible to deny that there's something incredibly warm and beautiful about the new bethel style. it's a limited edition release, too, so get your paws on it fast!"
-matt indieville.com

"this six-song ep captures los angeles based trio new bethel at their nuanced, post-punk, indie pop best. at the helm, aaron buckley and molly williams trade sweet harmonies and emotionally urgent vocal duels, sounding at times like X on a hallucinogenic bender. charles maxey's jazz-like drumming propels their exchange further on through various galaxies, undulating, intense, relaxed, even playful and haphazard at times. the garagey production and psychedelic noise freak-outs lend just as much to the grit and glitter of "inside the blue vera" as its catchy, sugarcoated pop hooks do, making this a challenging yet impressive debut effort."
- milesofmusic.com

"the debut album by los angeles indie trio new bethel is an intriguing blend of slightly twee indie-pop sounds (guitarist aaron buckley and organist molly williams both favor the uncertain pitch and slightly clashing harmonies of the k records crowd) and more complex post-rock-style song structures. the lengthy, meandering songs usually move through several distinct musical sections, often ending up somewhere entirely musically unrelated to where they began. the combination of minimal, live-sounding production (it doesn't sound like there are any overdubs on the entire record) and the fairly sophisticated arrangements gives inside the blue vera an immediacy that's often lacking from post-rock, and the open-ended song structures gives the album a bit more musical heft than many indie pop releases."
- stewart mason, allmusic.com

"the threesome (guitar, organ, drums) makes bright, jangly, yet off-kilter pop songs with boy/girl harmonies reminiscent of mates of state, versus, and maybe a hopped-up yo la tengo. live, the band performs with an unflagging energy that's hard to resist."
- LA alternative press

"born of a los angeles college recording project and subsequent radio broadcast on 88.9 kxlu, new bethel are truly a unique threesome. their new cdep "inside the blue vera" is a flighty half hour of jangle filled whirlwind pop that digs in for a truly delightful schizophrenic charm. the track "radio started" comes straight out of the thrill jockey corral - it is vintage the sea and cake in a comfortable marching step, swaying like a song comfortable in its own silly skin. there are strong calls to bands like the shins or their earlier incarnation flake music on "chemical control" and "the ticket." inside the blue vera is packed with good moments of joyful, glee filled boy/girl irony. aaron Buckley and molly williams have that competitive vocal quality that at once builds the song then gives it thick delightful skin... new bethel is a charming little outfit whose work is definitely worth checking out."
- erick, cosmik debris

"arty new wave pop from the west coast with bratty-esque vocals and a steady drum and organ backbone sets new nethel apart from most bands today ...boy girl vocal exchanges help keep it interesting, especially since these guys like to write really long songs. with not the first one out of this six song ep going below 4 minutes. if you like mates of state or rainer maria then you might like new bethel."
-mike, bee's knees

"showcases a good range of songs, both instrumental and lyrical. a three-piece, the new bethel’s keys and guitars don’t fight for attention; rather they complement each other, much like the twin vocals of guitarist aaron buckley and organist molly williams... they will soon join rainer maria and the mates of state in their particular pop-punk stardom. ‘til then, i am glad they are a local band where i live..."
- grant, indieworkshop.com

"new bethel has made a name for themselves in los angeles for being one of the most interesting post-punk/indie-pop live acts to take the stage since SNMNMNM packed up their tuba and moved east. this energetic three-piece combines the usual guitar, bass, drum set-up with the less usual vox and organ additions to produce a sound that's both original and satisfying. with the release of their first CD EP, “inside the blue vera,” fans are finally able to bring that sound home."
-hand carved magazine

"six fresh and clever pieces that fall outside the boundaries of normal underground pop. instead of playing noisy alternative rockers or sugary sweet alternapop...these folks instead opt to blend all kinds of ideas and sounds into their own unique concoction. the result is a highly entertaining sound that draws on few obvious influences...yet remains accessible nonetheless. some pieces involve little or no vocals...instead allowing the band to present their (almost jazzy) instrumental abilities. intriguing stuff."
- babysue

"what we have here is a quieter, loopier, more soulful and eclectic version of the music that mates of state has produced solidly for years. my first feeling is “how has this band slipped through the cracks?” although i suppose its still relatively early in their career, they’re just getting signed to a small (but frisky) label. pretty soon, they’ll start to show up on people’s myspace profiles and as part of message board recommendation threads. my goodness, they haven’t even shown up on any art of the mix mixes yet! people, let’s save new bethel from obscurity! either go to the label and order the CD, or if you lack the conviction, go download a few tracks first and see what you think."
-patrick cutthechord.com

"the los angeles trio, whose debut was recorded at the minders’ martyn leaper’s portland studio, creates an almost indescribable clatter. from the spastic drums and organ and guitar that open the disc, soon to press through semi-nerdy boy/girl vocals and tough lo-fi rock grooves, new bethel gives the impression that the band is more comfortable in the art-garage band vein than with the psychedelic poppers usually associated with the cluster of bands with whom these musicians have been linked. still, as those first moments of yelping vocals and disjointed guitar solos in “the great decline” dissolve into unexpectedly serene guitar passages, it’s obvious that there is considerably more going on under the sonic façade. ...in short, it’s a complex and slightly confusing yet altogether convincing mix of tempos and textures that deserves to be explored over the course of a full-length release."
-matt fink adequacy.net