Build yourself a myth…
This is a long overdue review of one of my favourite albums released this year.
Beach House came out with the eagerly anticipated follow up to their third record Teen Dream earlier this year. Bloom is just as its title alludes; a band blossoming and growing into themselves. Dream pop at its finest, Beach House are a Baltimore based duo who have flown under the radar for a while, up until their first real single “Zebra” which got huge Triple J air time. Their earlier records Beach House and Devotion were received well within the trendy hipster stratosphere, but paled in comparison to the success of Teen Dream.
Lead single “Myth” opens the record with its simple drumming and ethereal arpeggios, from the second the huge synthetic drone hits you’re submersed in Beach House’s spell. Throughout the track they cry out for assistance from an “aeon” of some description, asking them; “help me to make it”. Said “aeon” could just as easily be a significant other, however.
Such is the beauty of Beach House’s song writing, it’s open to interpretation on many levels akin to the lyricism of bands like My Bloody Valentine. Whilst the lyrics may look dull or contrived on paper, they flourish when backed by the talented duo.
Follow up single “Lazuli” enters with an almost eight bit chordal progression which explodes into a similarly beautiful world of stringed synths and flowery vocals. “Other People” has a hook which really works for it as the distinct verses’ and chorus’, which could by some be seen as disjointed in a normal situation, intertwine effortlessly.
The only potential criticism to be made of the record is that it doesn’t really surprise in any way. Teen Dream had peaks and troughs, however within Bloom you don’t really change pace for some time. “Troublemaker” is the closest we get to any semblance of a crescendo. That being said, each track within itself has a distinct method or path to its ultimate sonic explosion.
The band’s greatest moment comes in the form of “New Year” which clocks in at over five and a half minutes and over that time the sound gradually builds into a bursting state of ecstasy in its final moments.
Frontwoman, Victoria Legrand, is quoted as saying that the title of the album is their least ethereal thus far, the band truly identify with it and you can hear how comfortable the band are with their sound as the record progresses. From the instant hit “Myth” to unsung hero “New Year” each track says what it must and more, this could well be Beach House’s magnum opus.