Fire Note Says: Beach House puts out another very good album.
Album Review: Seven albums in, it is a challenge for any band to continue to grow and refine their sound. You would never know it from listening to Beach House’s aptly named LP, 7. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally definitely work from the base that they’ve established over the past decade and a half. However, they introduce new tricks and play up other ones they’ve hinted at recently.
One of the best songs in Beach House’s recent catalog is “Sparks,” an electric, noisy track with a quicker tempo than you’re used to with Beach House. They take that concept and run with it on tracks like “Dive” and “Woo.” “Dive” sounds like a familiar Beach House song at first – Legrand’s deliberate, ephemeral vocals mix with synthesizer and drums. It’s a fan pleaser, no doubt. But then, two and a half minutes into the song, a guitar is overlaid, adding an anthemic quality to “Dive.” It’s fun to hear Beach House take a risk by diverging from “their sound,” and the risk pays off.
And “Woo”: it is a track that sounds like a full band is playing on it. That is a big takeaway from 7; different elements take center stage on the album. Guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and synthesizer all have their moment. “Woo” is the most complete example of the effect; its looseness is a welcome departure for the normally tight duo. Guitars also provide a core element of “Dark Spring”; “Pay No Mind” has a reverberating bass part.
Beach House continues to evolve; it’s refreshing to hear a band be familiar but take their sound in new directions. It’s easy to appreciate and respect the artistry and creativity on display; 7 is not a cash grab or contract filler. While this is an excellent release, it’s even more exciting to think of the possibilities for what could be next for Beach House.
Key Tracks: “Woo” / “Dive” / “Dark Spring”
Artists With Similar Fire: Tame Impala / Best Coast / Grizzly Bear
Beach House Website
Beach House Facebook
Sub Pop Records
-Reviewed by Matthew Heiner
By day I am a dad and a psychologist; I often use music as a way to connect with both my kids and my clients. One of my proudest moments as a father was when my 12-year-old daughter told me of her undying love for Radiohead.