”It’s a strange paradise”
Beach House is a dream pop duo from Baltimore, formed in 2004 and consists of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. Since the beginning of their career, the band had put out three studio albums before the latest one, Bloom came out last year in 2012. The previous album, Teen Dream was a bit of a breakthrough album for the duo when it was released in 2010 and as a result, Bloom went on to sell 41 000 copies within the first week of its release.
Bloom is a logical continuation of Teen Dream, and it follows down the path of catchy choruses, beautiful melodies and a very rich sound. Beach House has been compared to the classic band Cocteau Twins, and there might very well be a small influence there. One big difference is that Beach House has strong Indie-vibe in their sound. They fill a void in the current world of popular music since dream pop is not a very common music style compared to other genres.
Bloom starts off with a very solid four-song run that just becomes better and better with each song. “Myth” is the first one which has a slightly darker atmosphere than some of the other songs on the album, but it has very memorable melodies with some great guitars and a catchy chorus. During the first four songs each song gets better than the previous, and it escalates on “Other People” which has one of the best choruses on the whole album. The verses are excellent, but the chorus is really what lifts the song. It has a great use of guitars, keyboards and catchy vocals, resulting in one of the best moments on the album.
The second half of the album was slightly harder to get into, but more rewarding when it finally clicked. Most of the songs follow in the pattern of having really catchy and well written melodies, but you need more than just a good chorus to make a good song. Luckily that is the case with these songs, and the end of the album is possibly the best part of the whole album. “On the Sea” stands out as being slightly different from the other songs, fewer layers and less keyboards resulting in a more straightforward sound on that song. The closing track “Irene” is the big highlight on the album, and everything has been leading up to it. The 17 minutes of runtime might confuse you because about half of it is silence with a hidden track at the end. Personally I would not have mind if the song was actually 17 minutes, the way it builds and escalates with Victoria singing “It’s a strange paradise”, that part alone could have gone on for 5 more minutes and I would have been happy.
Bloom is another sensational album by Beach House, and it is one of the better releases from 2012 without a doubt. If you are into indie music or like pop with catchy melodies and vocals, make sure you check out Beach House.
Standout tracks: Irene, Other People, Wishes, Troublemaker, Lazuli.