photographed by William White, edited by William White and J McClendon

glass beach’s “coelacanth” is an awe-inspiring discovery

LA quartet glass beach just released the superb sophomore album Plastic Death, and one of the many highlights is the opening track “coelacanth”. Unless you’re a marine biologist, you probably don’t know that the coelacanth was an oceanic creature that scientists thought had died out 66 million years ago – yet one was discovered off South Africa in 1938. Like the coelacanth, Plastic Death is a treasure you never expected to encounter. 

The band’s 2019 debut (appropriately titled The First Glass Beach Album) was a cult favorite that brought them half a million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. The new album is brilliant in a wholly different way. The band’s sound is uniquely their own, even though they’ve been compared to Radiohead, They Might Be Giants, Surf’s Up-era Beach Boys, Philip Glass and The Mars Volta.

Watch the video for “coelacanth” below, or find the full album on your favorite streamer.

Plastic Death is out now on Run For Cover Records. Follow glass beach on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.

The band kicks off a 20-city U.S. tour on March 21. Snag a ticket if you can, because each member is a virtuoso: frontperson and primary songwriter J McClendon, lead guitarist Layne Smith, bassist Jonas Newhouse and drummer William White. You’ll even hear trumpet, trombone and violin from this group, not to mention the marimba (which I thought went extinct with Herb Alpert several million years ago).

Tour dates:

Thurs March 21 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
Fri March 22 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
Tues March 26 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre
Thurs March 28 – Burnsville, MN – The Garage
Sat March 30 – Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme
Sun March 31 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
Tues April 2 – Lakewood, OH – Mahalls
Weds April 3 – Pittsburgh, PA – Spirit Hall
Fri April 5 – Boston, MA – Crystal Ballroom
Sat April 6 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
Sun April 7 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
Tues April 9 – Washington, DC – Union Stage
Weds April 10 – Richmond, VA – Canal Club
Fri April 12 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In
Sat April 13 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Hell)
Mon April 15 – Dallas, TX – Ferris Wheelers
Tues April 16 – Austin, TX – Far Out
Thurs April 18 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
Fri April 19 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
Sun April 21 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent