As a formerly little known but critically acclaimed band, Baltimore-based Beach House suddenly rose to prominence last year with their third album ‘Teen Dream’. On this record Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, by their own admission, had the benefit of a larger than normal production and, my, didn’t they use it well?
It opens with a gentle, lullaby-like guitar melody. Just as you think the song ‘Zebra’ couldn’t get any more dreamlike, Legrand delivers her emotive vocal on a song guaranteed to pluck the heartstrings of anyone with a liking for indie rock. As one should expect for an album which featured heavily in magazine best-of lists, the track is no fluke. ‘Norway’ ripples with mystery and spine tingling melancholy, whilst ‘Walk In The Park’ is propelled by an insistent keyboard melody.
‘Teen Dream’ doesn’t exactly enter a lull from there but it would be extremely hard to expect any band to maintain the standard throughout. The next special moment comes eight tracks in courtesy of ’10 Mile Stereo’; haunting and mesmeric, it’s one of those songs which doesn’t let up in its magic through both verses and chorus.
It’s hard to find an album quite as lush sounding as ‘Teen Dream’; fully justifying its expensive production. They’ve used it to great effect and the music is, crucially, able to stir the emotions in a positive way.
The Helio Sequence, Deerhunter