Michael Beach is the architect of a sound that is both well-built and ramshackle, straightforward and indeterminably complex, out of the norm yet familiar in all the best ways. Dream Violence, Michael Beach’s fourth full-length, is an epic album that explores the duality of the human condition. Or, as Beach himself puts it, the album is about “human futility, passion, desire, anger, frustration, and the struggle to maintain hope in a somewhat hopeless time.” Dream Violence, then, addresses the existential crisis of being an artist in 2021. The album unfolds like a revelation, filled with sonic tumbleweeds that reference Neil Young’s On the Beach, Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, the Velvet Underground’s Loaded, and the Go Betweens’ Before Hollywood. Influences ranging from the enigmatic Israeli guitarist Charlie Megira (who he toured and collaborated with) to Glenn Branca to the Oblivians are combined to create a new, exhilarating sound, part of the path that Beach has been on since 2008’s Blood Courses. A veteran of year-end indie rock round ups beginning with Golden Theft in 2013 and continuing with Gravity/Repulsion, released in 2017, Beach distills the best of those early albums and adds sharpened intent. Dream Violence was recorded in two batches: a more off-the-cuff session in Melbourne with Matthew Ford and Innez Tulloch of Thigh Master and Peter Warden on drums; and a more produced session recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Fransisco by Kelley Stoltz.