Beach House has released the highly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Bloom, and with the hype that they created with Depression Cherry, Beach House is definitely a band that often meets and exceeds these expectations set by the singles and past material and they have done just that with the newest album.
The album starts out with the song “Levitation”, which introduces us to the Beach House organs that we all know and miss. This is also where we first learn how much this release will contrast from former Beach House releases but still bringing us the beautiful dreampop they always have. Legrand’s organ playing is still a major part in Beach House songs, in this track it never fades and is always below under the other sounds providing a solid base for the song to build upon.
The second track “Sparks” was the first single that the duo released for the new album and the one that initial created the hype around Depression Cherry. Distorted guitars accompanied by underlying organ and Legrand’s layered vocals makes for a beautiful combination. “Sparks” was the first song to show us that Beach House was back and ready to release a great album and the song is solid both within the context of the album and without it.
Analog synths and reverb coated guitars paired with Victoria Legrand’s ethereal vocals make up the third track on the album, “Space Song”. The song is a huge contrast to the previous track “Sparks” which had harsh guitars and rough distortion but both still fit into that classic Beach House sound that they’ve developed over the years. The song is a calm powerhouse and is entrancing as Legrand repeats “Fall back into place” over and over until the song fades out.
“Beyond Love” opens with strong synth chords later to be joined by distorted guitar notes on top of it. As Legrand croons “Beyond love” we slowly find ourselves falling into the song and getting lost somewhere between the vocals and the beautiful instrumentation in it.
The fifth track, “10:37”, starts out with distant drums and is soon accompanied by a low synth line and Legrand. One of the more minimalistic songs on the album, “10:37” makes an impact but not one as strong as the other songs on the album have. Beach House have expanded their sound on most of the tracks but on “10:37” they seem to be holding back some of the previous power they displayed on the album.
“PPP” is probably one of the most interesting songs on the album as it switches between Legrand singing and speaking throughout the song. You would think that the spoken word would create a bad impact on the aesthetic and sound that they set in stone earlier on the album but it only adds to it. It’s a unique addition I never expected to hear on the record. This makes “PPP” one of the best songs on record and possibly the best on it. The song is one of the longer tracks on the album but utilizes it’s entire run time perfectly with no wasted word or note in it. Everything in it fits beautifully together and it entrances the listener in this combination of sounds to where you wish it would never end.
As we get towards the end of the album, “Wildflower”, gives us a good contrasting sound to the previous track, “PPP”, in a great way. The highlight of the song is definitely Scally’s guitar playing. Instead of it blending into the other instruments, it stands out so well on its own. “Wildflower” is another stand out song on the album because of this and is one of the ones you must listen to if you’re not going to listen to the entire album as it would also do great out of context from the rest of the album.
One of the last songs of the album, “Bluebird”, is another beautiful track. It’s one of the highlights of the album as it’s such a great track both instrumentally and vocally. Another track that’s easily to get lost end and after getting lost you don’t want to be found. It’s a truly amazing song and possibly the best on the entire album along with others like “PPP” and “Space Song”.
“Days of Candy” is another on of the longer tracks on the album that opens up with an amazing choir. The song has a spacey and open feel that is just ethereal on another level. Legrand’s vocals along with the choir make for an absolutely amazing combination of sounds. The song is a great closing track that brings the album to an end that leaves us wanting more yet brings some sense of conclusion on it.
Beach House has created another great album to add into their already great discography. The album is even in the running for our top ten year end list at this point. Throughout the years, the Baltimore based duo just continues to blow us away and have never disappointed. Beach House now has definitely got the formula down for making great music and we look forward to any future releases they have for us.
OVERALL DEPRESSION CHERRY GETS A 9.5/10
SEE BEACH HOUSE IN A CITY NEAR YOU:
09-17 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
09-18 Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
09-19 Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Theatre
09-21 Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theatre
09-22 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
09-25 Omaha, NE – Slowdown
09-26 Lawrence, KS – Liberty Hall
09-27 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
09-28 Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall
09-29 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
10-01 Houston, TX – House of Blues
10-02 New Orleans, LA – Civic Theatre
10-03 Birmingham, AL – Saturn
10-04 Nashville, TN – The Ryman Auditorium
10-06 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
10-07 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
10-08 Saxapahaw, NC – Haw River Ballroom
10-24 Belfast, Northern Ireland – Mandela Hall
10-25 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
10-26 Glasgow, Scotland – ABC
10-27 Manchester, England – The Ritz
10-29 Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
10-30 London, England – Shepherds Bush Empire
11-02 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
11-03 Brussels, Belgium – Autumn Falls @ AB
11-04 Koln, Germany – Gloria
11-05 Luxemborg, Luxemborg – Den Atelier
11-07 Reykjavik, Iceland – Iceland Airwaves
11-10 Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
11-11 Gothenburg, Sweden – Tradgarn
11-12 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser Medis
11-13 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
11-14 Hamburg, Germany – Kampnagel K1
11-16 Berlin, Germany – Huxley’s
11-17 Munich, Germany – Freiheiz
11-18 Lausanne, Germany – Les Docks
11-20 Barcelona, Spain – Apolo
11-22 Madrid, Spain – La Riviera
11-23 Lisbon, Portugal – Armazén
11-24 Porto, Portugal – Teatro sa da Bandeira
12-09 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre
12-10 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre
12-17 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
12-18 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore