Beach House's "Bloom"
- Article by: Katie Wiley/Erin Manning
- Posted: 05/15/2012
Mentioning the beach is a sure-fire way to evoke feelings of serenity, relaxation, and sentimentality, which is why Baltimore-based dream-pop duo, Beach House, is so appropriately named. Their steady stream of beguiling melodies, dreamy color chords and wistful vocals serves to transport listeners to a misty shore in an unknown world, at an uncertain time.
Consisting of French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native, Alex Scally, the two created a sound all their own in 2006 with a self-titled debut album, bringing them critical acclamation and putting them on the indie music radar. After having released Devotion in 2008, and the commercially successful Teen Dream in 2010, Beach House has swiftly gathered a substantial following of music lovers alike.
After three superb albums, it is difficult to fathom that the band could even be capable of outdoing their previous efforts, but Beach House has managed to do just that with their fourth full-length album, Bloom (5/15/12, Sub Pop). Using their slew of synths, vintage organs and drum machines, Beach House has earnestly presented us with yet another collection of beautifully-constructed, atmospheric pop songs.
Musically, the album is farther away from the lo-fi sound of Beach House’s earliest works, delving further into creating the swirling, ethereal blanket of sound that gives Beach House their dream-pop tag. Elements of romantic, electro-pop aid in giving the album a more fortifiable sound than previous ones, although this does not have any negative effect on the movement of the songs; as usual, the flow is lovely.
This album is similar to Beach House’s prior albums in the sense of subject matter as well. Lyrics focus on familiar feelings of first loves, the exploration of nostalgia, and a general longing for the past, (which is what seems to attract those listeners with a fondness for romance or melancholia).
Unlike their other works however, Bloom is intended to be listened to as a whole body of work. From beginning to end, as a cohesive collection, the album is an examination of the complex feelings of youth and the bittersweet reminiscence of moments that have passed and cannot be relived. Legrand’s ageless alto delivers lyrics like, “You can’t keep hangin’ on, to all that’s dead and gone. If you built yourself a myth, you’d know just what to give,” with a restless enthusiasm that unfailingly entrances listeners.
Bloom is a fitting title for this body of work, which does exactly what its title implies: it subtly flourishes until each element of the album is revealed to be an exquisite part of an even more glorious whole, revealing the complexities of each song, as well as Beach House’s music overall.