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March 15, 2010 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Beach House— Teen Dream (Sub Pop)


Beach House make their Sub Pop debut. Yay. This album works best alone in your room when feeling that simple desire to bliss out and maybe experience some synesthesia. I must say, Teen Dream has been inspiring some pretty sweet images to permeate my head—all painful goodbyes and nostalgic longing; yeah, this is certainly a sad album, filled with resigned anxiety. But, oh my god, so fucking beautiful. Victoria Legrand’s vocals flow over each track as flawlessly as imaginable, while producer Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Telepathe, Grizzly Bear) achieves a highly crystalline sound not heard on Beach House’s previous releases. This crispness works to advance Beach House’s brand of ‘dream pop’ to a whole new level. This level is good.

I don’t think anybody can deny that the opening track, ‘Zebra’, is the highlight. Alex Scally’s opening notes putting you in a pretty place, as subtle “aaaaaahhhh”s then drift in and out, followed by Legrand singing “You know you’re gold, you don’t gotta worry none”, clicky drums kick in after the first chorus, completing the stunning track. The runners up have to be ‘Silver Soul’, if simply for the orgasmic vocal melody and rising inflection on the line “It’s a vision, complete illusion, yeahhh”, and ‘10 Mile Stereo’ for its stylistic shift after 1:30 to a marvelous blend of shoegaze noise with rich, pleading vocals. It’s this ability to vocalise sheer desperation that will always win me over.

I don’t want to concentrate much on individual tracks though, because Teen Dream is so perfectly sequenced and creates such a strong atmosphere that it should be listened to as a whole. It wasn’t intended to be a concept album but it certainly gives that impression when listening—each track feeling like it segues into the next and then building on what went before.

I was never a huge Beach House fan before, but Teen Dream has convinced me that they are one of the most worthwhile bands to watch out for. I’m sure they will continue to improve, but in the meantime I will enjoy relaxing to this album. Get it, grab whatever vices you need, sit on your bed/couch and experience pop at its dreamiest.


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