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Beth Ann McDowell Returns to Her Roots in New Album, The Sim Is Real

By Daniel Warren Hill

Beth Ann McDowell offers a bit of whimsy in a new track, “The Sim Is Real,” from her new album of the same title produced with indie rock veteran R. Walt Vincent (Liz Phair, Pete Yorn). Beginning with keys and drums for a short introduction before being joined by guitar and bass, McDowell’s breathy vocals deliver clever lyrics amidst a continuously moving and developing rock arrangement.

2022’s lead single, “Killers of the Early Morning,” followed by “Where The Calm Things Are” and “Alis,” brought McDowell back to her roots in songwriting, bringing fans back into her rich narratives through complex and lush lyricism. The recording technique used for the album also adds a lot of character to these and the other tracks on The Sim Is Real through live studio sessions rather than through excessive use of overdubs. Additionally, each song holds an unexpected musical twist; expertly delivered dynamic changes occur throughout the album creating a regular “Oh, I need to hear that again” response.

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, but moving to Minnesota at an early age and eventually settling in Minneapolis, McDowell says, “I’d love to give more depth to the realm of Asian artists out there, as my style is a bit more gritty and melancholic than the more famed pop stars people are familiar with. I’m also, at heart, a writer and so I think my lyrics will connect with people, at least I hope so.” Her background in classical piano may have influenced some of the arrangements and movements throughout The Sim Is Real, but the album is heavily inspired by the music of the 90s. Songs from the album blend these concepts together comprehensively and beautifully into something completely modern.

Check out “The Sim is Real” from Beth Ann McDowell’s latest album, The Sim Is Real. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify.

Daniel Warren Hill

Daniel Warren Hill is an American musician, writer, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the frontman for Washington DC area Alternative Rock band YellowTieGuy, as co-founder of Capitol Groove Collective, and increasing the exposure of artists on a global scale through his work with Alchemical Records. 

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