Beams, a Toronto-based eclectic folk septet, is the brainchild of Anna Mernieks (banjo, vocals). In 2011, she put out an open call on facebook to have friends hang out at her apartment and flesh out her songs.
Mike Duffield (drums), Heather Mazhar (vocals), Keith Hamilton (singing saw, vibraphone), Dave Hamilton (mandolin), Craig Moffatt (bass) and Martin Crawford (guitar, lapsteel) all showed up and continue to be members today.
The band played a series of residencies around Toronto throughout 2011-2013 where they honed the songs that would make up their debut album. During this time they caught the ear of Grammy-award winning engineer Peter J. Moore ( Cowboy Junkies, Neko Case) who recorded the band. Beams' 2013 debut Just Rivers was met with acclaim, with NOW Magazine's four-star review as “an album that never repeats itself and is full of unexpected nods and surprise turns.”
In 2014, Beams worked with acclaimed musician/producer John McEntire (Tortoise, Broken Social Scene) in Chicago and released a 7” called the “Gutters and the Glass." Shortly after they recorded a version of the Kate Bush classic Running up That Hill. January 2016 saw the band enter the studio to record their sophomore album with Ian Gomes at Union Sound Co. (Odonis Odonis, FRIGS) They released the single “I Wanted to Tell Her” in 2017 with a video directed by Christopher Mills (Modest Mouse, Leonard Cohen), followed by the celebrated album Teach Me to Love in February 2018.