On their latest release, Bloom, Beach House picks a mood and sticks with it in earnest. To their fans, that atmosphere is sure to be a familiar one, and record reviews are abuzz this week with all the expected adjectives – hypnotic, aching, sultry, languid.
“Lovely as it is,” writes Jennifer Kelly for Dusted Magazine, “Bloom makes no big departures… If you wanted Teen Dream all over again, and god knows there are plenty of people who do, this is your record.”
While that might be true, so may be Hari Ashurst’s closing thought in his review for the BBC: “Once you manage to pull away from Bloom‘s magnified scenery and consider the record as a whole, it’s difficult to think of it as anything other than its makers’ best work so far.”
Although the drenched vocals, repetitious guitar patterns and obscure organ sounds are hardly new territory for the dream-pop duo, Bloom is as satisfying as it is oddly familiar. Much like Stereolab or James Brown, it seems that you can put on a Beach House record and have a pretty good sense of what to expect; But also like those artists in their golden periods, it seems that for now, they keep on getting better at what they do.
It’s not easy to write a “Behind The Release” story on a band like Beach House. In our age of endless commentary and expected transparency, we’ve come to take it for granted that our artists will be as open-source as our software. Beach House, however, is on a mission to maintain some sense of mystery.
“It’s the ‘man behind the curtain’ thing,” said singer and keyboardist Victoria Legrand in a recent interview with Pitchfork. “Let the Wizard of Oz be the Wizard of Oz.”
When I talked to engineer and co-producer Chris Coady [Blonde Redhead, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs], he was forthcoming on all the basic details, but stopped short when it came to a few of our more specific questions…