Vinyl Vlog 352

Vinyl Vlog 352

Monday, 24 September 2018

Beach House

Of all the ridiculous musical genres and subgenres, the one I’ve grown most pleased with is dream-pop. A long time ago, Mike Watt told me that musical genres are just something someone at a record label came up with to make their job easier. I haven’t quite found it to be that, exactly. Genres are important for listeners because it helps us find what we’re looking for. That said, there have been some subgenres so vague that they’ve become more a description of the scene than the music itself, like grunge, punk (in some ways), and post-dub-step. I could go on and on about each.

But then there’s dreampop, which to me, sounds like electronic music you would hear in an altered state. It sounds exactly as you’d expect it to. Some bands have stuck to the style so stubbornly that it’s stunted their development as musicians. Others, like the Dum Dum Girls have chosen to mix and match and create something new.

Beach House will always remind me of long bus rides and waking up groggy and sleepy in Boston with an hour’s commute in public transportation still to go. In this semi-conscious, dream-like state, it would be Beach House’s music which would chaperone me through the train changes and stops, their drones and melodies keeping me at a state where I could still catch an hour nap before going to work.

I’m surprised I’ve held Beach House so dearly in my memory, because I took a risk on them, and didn’t expect them to pay off. If their following was any sign, I thought I’d give up on them after a couple listens. But, no. Their latest album 7 is a wonderful reminder of what it was about them that I loved so much in the first place and why they’re still a relevant band. Beach House still sounds unapologetically like a dream-pop band, their synthesizers droning, the celestial-like overdubbed vocals of Victoria Legrand, their undeniably fun melodies, the sad undertones. But, 7 also has a harder edge to it allowing newcomers to have something to hold onto. It’s incredibly accessible but sounds unusual for those of us who aren’t normally tuned this. It’s music that should grow stale, but instead manages to stay interesting throughout. There’s so much coming at you with 7 that it’s at times a siren in despair, and other times straight up punk… until it isn’t.

This vinyl release is equally enchanting, sporting a gatefold vinyl, and silver-coated elements on the cover. The wax and cover both shine but for different reasons.

Beach House have created quite the summer jam with 7. Listen to the track Dive and tell me I’m not right. What a cool record. What a cool band.

Get it from Sub Pop

Comments are closed.