Premiere: Athens’ Drew Beskin Basks in a Rock Reverie on “Personal Shopper”

Drew Beskin © Kyler Vollmar
Drew Beskin © Kyler Vollmar
Colorful and fun-loving, Drew Beskin’s charmingly groovy indie rock ballad “Personal Shopper” finds the Athens singer/songwriter basking in a “late in life” dawn.
Stream: “Personal Shopper” – Drew Beskin




Evoking a touch of The Strokes, The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys, and more, Drew Beskin’s second single of the year transcends that ever-changing boundary between the “classic” and the “modern,” the old and the new, the out-of-date and the radically fresh. Colorful and fun-loving, Beskin’s charmingly groovy indie rock ballad “Personal Shopper” blends familiar and refreshing sonics as the Athens singer/songwriter basks in a “late in life” dawn.

Problematic for the People - Drew Beskin
Problematic for the People – Drew Beskin
So what my fashion sense from
2001 brought me none
But I wrote songs about it anyway
Somehow late in life is
Somehow late in life is great
But I don’t know how to keep it anyway
Somehow late in life is great
But you was on fire from the side and angle I
Tried to get behind
Somehow late in life is
Somehow late in life is great

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Personal Shopper,” the second single taken from Drew Beskin’s forthcoming third solo album, Problematic for the People (out July 2, 2021 via indie label Super Canoe). Active for over a decade, Beskin is known throughout his native Athens, Georgia and beyond as frontman for banks like The District Attorneys, Party Dolls, and PURSES – but it’s through his solo career that some of the singer/songwriter’s most creative and compelling songwriting has come to life.

Drew Beskin © Kyler Vollmar
Drew Beskin © Kyler Vollmar

Introduced through last month’s dynamic, driving lead single “Going Alright for You,” Problematic for the People (a tongue-in-cheek reference, we hope, to R.E.M.’s acclaimed eighth LP Automatic for the People) follows Beskin’s 2017 debut Cha-Ching Machine and 2018’s Nostalgia Porn. Produced/engineered by Drew Vandenberg (Faye Webster, Deerhunter) at Chase Park Transductions and by Matt Martin (of Wanderwild, COIN) at Gift Horse Studios, the eleven-track record was originally meant to be Beskin’s last LP, and as such the artist packed it full of the different styles within his musical lexicon. Beskin quickly changed his mind on retirement, but Problematic for the People remains as cohesive as it is diverse – a vast, unapologetic record that goes where it wants to go, exploring the sounds of the past and present as Beskin opens up more than ever before.

Nowhere is this more evident than on “Personal Shopper,” one of Problematic for the People‘s immediate standouts that – as previously mentioned – takes both from rock’s past as well as its more recent present. “Musically, it’s my favorite song I have recorded,” Beskin tells Atwood Magazine. “I had a big vision for how this song turned out. I wanted to step away from the two guitars, bass and drums approach I normally gravitate toward and embrace my Burt Bacharach and Rufus Wainwright side. Lots of keyboards, piano and bongos throughout. Annie Leeth came and put strings down on the track. When the strings come in, that is THE moment for me. I also had a hell of a time recording the woah-ohs with about 10 friends singing on it.”

So how much damage could get done
8000 miles with goons on a run
Going on and on and on
Somehow late in life is great
Hide in the light of my eye
Somehow late in life is great

Acting as a follow-up single to May’s music and video release “Going Alright for You,” the “Personal Shopper” music video is also something of a sequel to what is ultimately a two-part video series – with “Going Alright for You” shot in color, and “Personal Shopper” adopting a tasteful black-and-white aesthetic. “It features one of our producers, Drew Vandenberg, hosting a fictitious late night show along with some of our dear friends,” Beskin told Under the Radar, speaking last month about “Going Alright for You.” “Visually, I wanted to match the ’80s rock feel the song tries to achieve and have as much fun as possible. Even though we were “performing” along with the pre-recorded track we couldn’t help but feel a rush from being together and playing our instruments.”

That joy continues to emanate throughout the “Personal Shopper” video, which pays tribute/homage to some of those early ’60s pop classics in style and presentation. “We had so much fun making this video and was an honor to get Annie Leeth, Matt (Martin, producer/engineer and member of Wanderwild and COIN), Elijah Johnston (solo artist), and Tommy Trautwein (Well Kept) to be a part of the video,” Beskin relates. “It was a family affair.”

All told, “Personal Shopper” is a fun time for all. Beskin basks in his own reverie, embracing the moment as he squeezes emotion out of every line; meanwhile, every instrumentalist seems to get their own time to shine, with an energizing guitar solo ultimately closing the song on a definitive high.

But you was on fire from the side and angle I
Tried to get behind
Somehow late in life is
Somehow late in life is
Somehow late
Somehow late
Somehow late in life is great

Beskin’s third LP, Problematic for the People, is out July 2nd via Super Canoe. Stream “Personal Shopper” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Stream: “Personal Shopper” – Drew Beskin



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Problematic for the People - Drew Beskin

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📸 © Kyler Vollmar
art © Phillip Brantley & Kyler Vollmar

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