Artists that take risks are easy to love. If an artist has the core capability to compel his audience, to “move the room” with his songs, then he can afford to wiggle and shake his stories to a less linear place.

Think of the path charted by local lovable oddballs such as the Lucid and Evan Casas, grounded in the Beatles and willfully knocked about by Beck and the Flaming Lips.

This accepting family provides an ideal context for Jeff Beam’s latest, “Venus Flying Trapeze,” to enter into.

The record, listed in the ol’ iTunes as “psychedelic,” maintains a nice bounce and often harkens back to Lennon tambourine stomp ballads.

“Portraits of Poor Traits,” besides being one of many deft examples of wordplay on the record, sounds like a “Sgt. Pepper” B-side, with hand claps and a dizzying round of chorus and verse. Beam’s voice is often doubled and tripled, giving the narrative voice on “VFT” an Elliott Smith glaze.

On “Mere Mirror,” Beam opens with a sunny ’50s-era interview extolling the timeless feeling of love over urgently pleading “say something” in the lyric. It’s a nice layered message, built on contrasts. On the same collection, with the expanded palette of the 21st century, Beam can counter with the Thom Yorke-eared “Fly Trap,” baroque minor corners over a head-boppin’ beat.

Beam’s gift will continue to grow, but he’s already developed a healthy aversion to the safe play.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.