Members of Beatenberg. Picture: Supplied

Award-winning pop band Beatenberg are back with a new album, 12 Views of Beatenberg. Cape Town trio Matthew Field, Robin Brink and Ross Dorkin last released music in 2014 with their hit debut album, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg. 

Speaking about their new album, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, Field, said they started working on it after releasing their debut album. 

“I started writing new music almost immediately but although we knew we wanted to put a new album together, we never really sat down and decided that, that is why this album took so long; so much happened in between.” 

When it comes to the sound of their new album, Field said that it was not genre specific. “It is an array of tracks that are varied, curious and handsome in their explorations of our path from where we started, where we are in the present day, through an unpredictably South African nostalgia central to our uniqueness. 

Sometimes dreamy, sometimes jazzy, sometimes pop-tastic and back again. The album highlights our versatility; even in areas where tracks are meticulously layered, they translate with ease. We tried to bring our own introspective warmth and universal déjà vu that people would enjoy.” 

Field said that some of the songs on this album were from his personal experiences. “The way I write my music is in a very indirect way so, as a listener, you get a sense that it could be about the struggles we have gone through, but you won’t get that immediately. This album is particular to some of the things we have dealt with.” Speaking about the name, he said “the 12 views” was a reference to Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji. 

In Hokusai’s 36 prints, the mountain, which is a volcano, is represented from 36 positions in the surrounding region and throughout the seasons. “What I like is how inventive and varied these ‘views’ are,” said Field. “The mountain is sometimes snowy, sometimes fiery, sometimes pale, sometimes just an outline, sometimes the mountain is the central focus of the image but sometimes it is just a little triangle on the horizon of a separate scene. 

“I have lived in Cape Town almost all my life and while working on this album, I instinctively plugged Table Mountain into the scheme as a kind of Mount Fuji. 
In my mind, Table Mountain became, very loosely, a symbol for a kind of constant, unavoidable but sometimes stifling awareness of one’s place in the world and history. This is maybe the most meaningful way the title reflects concerns and considerations throughout the work.” 

Listen to their new single below: