Showing posts with label beach house. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beach house. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

video review: '7' by beach house

Man, I knew this record was getting critical acclaim... it's nice to come into that mold on my own, though, I really did think this was pretty great. Definitely recommended if you want to get back on the Beach House train, it's worth it.

Next up... whoo, this'll be an obscure one, stay tuned!

album review: '7' by beach house

So I'll admit the last time I talked about Beach House three years ago - the first time I ever had on my channel - it didn't precisely go well. Part of that was inescapable - while I do love Teen Dream and Bloom I appreciate those records most because they expand and heighten the mantra-like dreamy melodies at the core of the duo's sound, compensating for poetic and well-considered but occasionally underweight lyrics. But on the flipside you get records like Depression Cherry which served to strip away so much of that atmosphere where it became much harder to get lost in the mist, and elements that could prove playfully eccentric on one record could feel undercooked or even pretentious when stripped of their packaging. It was hard to ignore the feeling that both Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars in 2015 felt like a regression, albeit for different reasons - I didn't formally review Thank Your Lucky Stars, so here goes: I appreciate the return of more atmosphere and more layered production, but the melodies and songwriting felt even more threadbare and like a retread of past records. Not bad, but not exactly a project I'd revisit over their best work.

So I can't tell you how excited I was to cover 7, Beach House's newest record and one that buzz was suggesting was their most dark and experimental in some time. Departing from longtime producer Chris Coady, Beach House acknowledged that when they worked with an outside producer at all it was Peter Kember, known for his work with Spacemen 3, MGMT and Panda Bear as well as for electronic records under the alias Sonic Boom. And while I expected Beach House to continue with their typical sound - this is not a band that takes dramatic sonic risks - I did hope that they were heading towards the heavier direction pushed on Bloom, which I'd probably consider my favourite of their projects to date. So alright, what did I find on 7?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

video review: 'depression cherry' by beach house

So outside of the terrible hair in the screenshot, it's been a pretty crazy night, as I was featured in the new WatchMojo list on Top 10 Music Critics of YouTube! Thanks for recognition there, I really do appreciate it.

Meanwhile, the new Ghost album awaits - stay tuned!

album review: 'depression cherry' by beach house

I've got a complicated relationship with Beach House. Hell, it's the same sort of complicated relationship I have with most dream pop that indulges in airy, hazy production, half-heard lyrics, and focuses much more on vibe and feel than driving groove or melody. It's not that I dislike it - hell, I'd argue Beach House hasn't made a bad album, and Teen Dream and Bloom would easily be in the running for the best of their respective years - but for me it's music for a specific time and place. A big part of Beach House's appeal is the relaxed slow burn, and to be very honest, there aren't many moments when I can appreciate that mood as much as I'd like because of my schedule.

But I reckon it runs a little deeper than that. I revisited all of Beach House's albums prior to this review, and while there was a progression that enhanced the band's melodic sensibility, I've never been all that enamoured with their songwriting beyond it. And even as they cleared away more reverb with album after album and expanded their instrumentation and mix to build more momentum, I started wondering where the band's progression would lead. Because let's face it, Beach House can cultivate a very intimate atmosphere with their material, and even though their material can repeat itself in lyrics and composition, push it too far without clear creative direction and you can run into losing what made your duo special.

And some of the mixed reviews I had seen going into this album prepared me for the worst, suggesting that the band had returned to their quieter roots but along the way had lost some of the thick but gentle atmosphere that made their music so enticing. And as someone who has never really fallen completely for Beach House, I was genuinely curious how it was all going to pan out, so what did we get?