Teen Dream is a thing of fragile beauty

05May10

Said my friend Tom, and he’s not wrong. I’ve been waiting for Beach House to come up with this – their other two albums have had moments of steady beauty which hinted at more potential diverse tricks up their sleeve, but not a full record of such track-by-track quality and restraint.

Victoria Legrand is responsible for the Nico-like vocals, and fellow Baltimore resident and similarly spectacularly named Alex Scally for the guitars (not surprising; you never get these kind of bands coming from Nantwich, or Hartlepool). On the front of the cover of their second album Devotion they’re sitting at a candlelit table, with the words Beach House spelt out on the table. It looks like they might have come from a dusky walk on the beach in windswept, indie America somewhere, and the music sounds the same to my ears: other worldly, full of nature’s salt and sea and sepia landscape.

Forgive the lazy simile, but it also sounds like falling in love, and it sounds like someone leaving you. Pitchfork noticed how, although often upbeat sounding and with dreamy indie pop woven sparsely through the songs, it’s laden with sadness: “limbs parallel, we stood so long/we fell” (from 10 Mile Stereo). It’s haunting, and it’s lovely. Love aside, you can always fall asleep to it.

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