Chance has been good to Betsy Hershey, who performs her lush, abstracted pop under the name Bets. After all, it wasn’t the plan for the Los Angeles native, fresh out of music school, to play her first ever live shows at South by Southwest nor did she intend a personal project—last year’s lauded project violent femmes, a shoegaze-tinged cover album of the titular band’s 1983 debut—recorded on a whim to garner international attention. It’s just that when Bets puts her ethereal, exhilarating songs out into the world, people can’t seem to help responding.
And while a significant amount of thought and care has gone into her latest album, Future Color, anyone who’s previously fallen for her driving melodies and witty, catchy lyrics, will no doubt find something here to love. It’s a call to the creative side in everyone; the songs express themes of the uphill battle of isolation, frustration, and longing that can occur being an artist. These are not love songs but songs of longing, songs about need, and songs about trying to be something that’s never fully attainable. And while some of the tracks have the emotional resonance of great love songs, Bets says it’s a different kind of emotion that was actually driving her songwriting.