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NPR Music

The Beths, 'Silence Is Golden'

At the beginning of The Beths' new song, "Silence Is Golden," Elizabeth Stokes seems to want the impossible: "I wish that I could freeze time, go to the wild, soak up the quiet / Till I'm dripping wet with it / Then I would drive home, go to my room, wring myself out / That would be the end of it." Stokes sings with precision on the lead single off the New Zealand band's third album, which is bursting with lyrics about what the group has called "stress and anxiety manifesting as an intolerance to noise, where each new sound makes you more and more stressed." That desire to wring oneself out is heard across the track, which is roaring, anxious and brimming with existentialism. "Silence is golden, is golden," Stokes repeats later in the song with a rising cadence, building to a screeching guitar solo that cleverly challenges the title.

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