“It’s a strange paradise,” bellowed Victoria Legrand, singer-songwriter, at the end of Beach House’s previous full-length record “Bloom,” released in 2012.
Hailing from Baltimore, Legrand performs with bandmate Alex Scally as they venture into the psychedelic landscape of the ’90s with their most recent single, “Sparks,” influenced by the sonic landscape cultivated by acts like the Cocteau Twins.
The song is the second track on the band’s latest album, “Depression Cherry.” The album, released Aug. 28, uses multi-tracked vocals to fade into the background of the song. With heavily distorted guitars and a hypnotic drum beat, the song is a noisy and blissful addition to the album.
“Space Song,” the track immediately following, is another highlight of the album, teaming with airy synthesizers and lyrics that are intentionally soft: “It will take a while to make you smile/ somewhere in these eyes/ I am on your side.”
The song’s chorus changes the tempo ever so slightly, yet it is this elegance that captures the beauty of Legrand’s songwriting. With “Sparks,” the sound is incredibly dense, while “Space Song” is beautiful for the minimalist approach the songwriters take.
A 24-piece acapella group joins Legrand and Scally for the closing track, “Days of Candy.” The song is a marked risk for Beach House, clocking in at longer than 6 minutes, and one that ultimately pays off.
The choir builds the track toward the first steps of an epic conclusion functioning as the culmination of everything that Legrand and company have been building toward on the rest of the album. Unfortunately, just when the song hits an emotional peak, the synthesizers begin to slowly fade out and listeners are left wanting more. The band also heavily draws from similar synthesizer heard on past records.
While Beach House does take some notable risks on this record through exploring their sound with more effects and synthetic drum beats, this album is a transition toward something great.
The band seems to be reaching for the heights of previous records in their own discography, such as the beautifully sparse impactcarried by “Devotion” or the big-budget pop of their third album, “Teen Dream.”
The influence of the band continues to loom large over the alternative music scene. Even still, Beach House seems to be stumbling to find a new, progressive
“Depression Cherry” may not be perfect, but the record is an important next step for the evolution of Beach House. The album is also a great way for California Baptist University students to close out the final moments of summer.