Buried Beds sprang from the New Planet Art Collective, a West Philly haven for painters, musicians and writers where high-school friends Brandon Beaver and Eliza Hardy lived. Each began helping the other with their songs, creating a sound that mixed the harmonies of old-time Americana with the sad sensibilities of Carole King and Randy Newman. With the help of Philadelphia producer Edan Cohen and string arrangements by Brendan Cooney, another high-school friend, the songs took on new life in the studio, resulting in their first, self-titled EP. A second EP, Po Tolo, soon followed, garnering rave reviews from respected outlets like The Onion, The Believer and Philadelphia Magazine. Po Tolo’s haunting “River” even made its way into a Converse commercial
Live, the band was still just Brandon and Eliza, who now found themselves with two EPs full of lushly orchestrated songs that were impossible to play in a duo setting. After months of using a rotating who’s-who of Philly indie rock musicians and string players as a backing band, they assembled the full-time band that appears on Buried Beds’ first full-length, Empty Rooms.
On Empty Rooms, every aspect of Buried Beds’ sound has grown. Working with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Curtis Institute and the Peabody Conservatory, the band and Brendan Cooney have created an ambitious hybrid of classical music and Americana-rooted pop. On songs like “Great Divide” and “Perfect Skyline,” a muscular rhythm section combines with Cooney’s otherworldly string arrangements to create a new kind of chamber rock; the echoing atmospheres of the title track and “Anchor and Sea” find the band taking folk in a spaced-out, experimental new direction; and the lilting melodies of ‘Camellia,” “Insomnia” and the whimsical “Forever in You” show that their pop songcraft has been refined even further.