February 26th 2008
Beach House’s dreamy pop fills a dim room like a 25 watt bulb. The duo keeps things mysterious and ethereal, and their music balances between heartrending melodies and bitter but sweet ambiances. Brightness is not found in Beach House. While Devotion is yet another album that lacks peaks and valleys, the differential between songs is gauged by its listenablity. Put it in and let it play, again and again. Victoria Legrand’s keyboard emits a variety of quiet and unimposing sounds, as the rhythm, guitar, and vocals are all washed together with the same treatment of deep reverberation, positioning them somewhere cavernous and distant.
In their videos, Beach House visually represents an upbeat caricature of early 70s mainstream bubblegum that served as a precursor to the styles of Studio 54 disco, the commodification of the countercultural movements from the late sixties that led to the more bizarre episodes of The Partridge Family. Their music on the other hand does not sound manufactured. The organic elements that constitute Beach House’s work seem curiously out of step with the visual images. Legrand’s low alto voice has been compared to Mazzy Star and Nico, but in truth there is very little similarity. Beach House is less dynamic than other dream/ether artists like Immovable Objects, with which songs like Turtle Island have affinity, but there is no denying that Devotion has plenty of replay value, for what particular song however, I am not sure.
Beach House- 2006