Awwww….dream pop… soooooo….dreamy.
What is “dream pop” you may ask?
• It is a frozen treat made of crystalized clouds?
• A Japanese soft-drink sold in a sparkling iridescent bottle?
• What happens when your boss nudges you to wake up in the middle of a long conference call?
Not quite. According to Beach House’s Wikipedia page* “dream pop” is slow, atmospheric rhythms created through mesmerizing texture and ethereal melody. Full disclosure – this is not my usual repertoire. I typically look for albums a little more…full bodied. Something harder and with a kick. This album was not only a pleasant surprise it was a breath of fresh air in it’s less-is-more approach to pop music. Beach House surprisingly is only two people, French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally. Their fourth album, Bloom, released this past May is an addicting 50 minutes of guitars that sound like harps, beautiful haunting vocals and delicately-crafted works of audio art. The inclusion of layered electronics and what I guess is a drum machine fit well as the percussion should be subtle and secondary to Legrand’s swooning voice.
This album has moments of genius that feel quite cinematic at times. It is not the perfect masterpiece I hoped for, but it does convey mastery. Some of the songs blend together but that’s hardly a knock as this sort of thing is common for albums of the slow-moving and melancholy genre. There aren’t many surprises as many of the dreamy tunes end up right where they began but several tracks stand out in particular. Album opener, “Myth”, is the single floating around the interweb and for good reason. The song is four minutes of feel-good beauty which stirs up similar feelings to the first drink at happy hour, the sun shining on your face or the walk home after that first kiss. It’s simple, pure and manages to create a depth and presence quite uncommon for a band with only two people in it. “The Hours” is hard for me to relate to lyrically as I don’t have a lot of experience with “Frightened Eyes” but I can appreciate the song’s polished and alluring style. “On The Sea” opens with a simple piano melody but it’s simplicity is what makes it work so well. A truly captivating song. Adjectives used to describe classical music are more relevant here but since I’m more comfortable arguing the merits of individual Led Zeppelin albums I will refrain from trying. All I can say is that this song could be a lullaby it’s so absorbing and memorable. All in all, the album is a shiny glimmer of hope in an otherwise gloomy category. Beach House is a welcome vacation from most everything else playing right now and one that will haunt you long after it’s over.
Latest posts by Matt (see all)
- “Sunburn” – Muse (1999) – March 17, 2013
- “Balancing Act” – Knapsack (1995) – March 17, 2013
- In Defense of Mumford & Sons (By a guy who bought their album for his wife) – January 14, 2013
- Get To Know Wolf Parade – January 1, 2013