Beach House – Teen Dream


Whatever happened to the Great Comedown album? Think The Aloof’s ‘Sinking’, One Dove’s ‘Morning Dove White’ or the not annoying bits off ‘Scereamadelica’. Blame it on 24 hour licensing if you like – maybe everything these days just goes on too for too long? Can we fit albums like these into our lives anymore? Staggering back to the flat at half wrong on a Tuesday afternoon after 48hrs of solid caning, most of us would be hard pushed to put the kettle on – let alone a record. So who then is making music for couples to huddle for warmth around crooked spliffs to? Who writes melodies that glint like the breaking dawn chinking through smoke stained curtains? Baltimore dream pop duo Beach House it would seem are the unlikely saviours of this great tradition.

Unlike the aforementioned twilight classics, ‘Teen Dream’ is not ostensibly about raving. But it does share their woozy, bruised tones by gently blurring the lines between bliss and resignation, comedown and break up, morning and night. It’s there in the glassy, synthetic instrumentation, the strung out arrangements, the billowing reverbs and occasionally a soft 4/4 undertow tugging at hazy memories of the night before. As queasy pads drift gently in and out of tune on the delicious ‘Norway’ they sound like Grizzly Bear gone glo-fi. And on stand out ‘Ten Mile Stereo’, Legrand sings with the prurience and authority of a synth pop Piaf, swooping effortlessly from soulful rasp to frosted falsetto. The formula wears just a little thin as it peters out but this is lush, tear streaked stuff nonetheless. All back to mine for a big cry, people!

Jim Brackpool