Here we are at Beach House’s fourth studio album, Bloom. I’ve watch the band grow up since their 2006 self-titled debut and although the Baltimore band hasn’t made huge stylistic changes, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have created subtle shifts in their music to create more-than-solid albums that have propelled Beach House into a defining band of a genre.
Bloom follows up the duo’s 2010 critically acclaimed record Teen Dream (which ended up as my 18th favorite album of the year) Beach House don’t diverge much from their sound that was found there (and their other records) but when you’re this good at making dream pop music and you’ve found a formula that works well…why change?
The opener and lead single “Myth” is Beach House at their finest. The song…well, blooms. It starts off small with a rusty-bell beat and then swells to a glowing array of synths and guitar effects while Legrand’s dusty vocals shimmer through it all. The following track, “Wild,” is another standout. It opens with a child-like-Casio drum loop until the song (blooms) bursts open with Scally’s nautical/hazy guitar playing. The song is about a drunken/abusive father but it’s sung so beautifully you wouldn’t really have any idea.
“Other People” and “New Year” both feature strong hooks underlying a glorious dream pop aesthetic that Beach House has created for themselves and that other bands use as a templete for their own music. “On the Sea” and “Irene” (which has the bonus track “Where You Go”) are also great tracks. There really isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said. It is what you’d expect — and while I slam other bands for doing this Beach House have license to do this because they’ve perfect a sound. When you’re this good at something you don’t really need to stop. Its’ really what we all want to hear.
Sure, it’s easy to compair Beach House to other bands but those other band’s pretty much lifted what Beach House have created. And Bloom exemplifies what Beach House is about: they cannot do any wrong with their sound. Rather than getting old or stale, the duo is wise enough to change up just the right thing to keep listeners and fans captivated and entranced with their dusty, antique-sounding jams.
Listen to Beach House’s “Myth” below: