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Devotion

Beach House

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Album Review

With Devotion, Beach House prove once again that they're one of the more strangely named bands around. Their music is so lonely, so haunting, that the only beach house it evokes is a deserted one, stranded on a winter night so desolate that summer isn't even a memory. Then again, that atmosphere is precisely what made Beach House's self-titled debut so striking, and Devotion is even more so, since Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally bring more focus, depth, and warmth to their unmistakable sound. Tracks like "Gila" and "Turtle Island" show that all the pair need to build a mood are their vintage-sounding drum machines, keyboards, and layers of Legrand's womanly, velvety voice, but Beach House spend just as much time expanding their horizons as they do delivering their definitive sound. Devotion begins with "Wedding Bells," which, with its fuzzed-out guitar, keyboard filigrees, harpsichords, and pedal steel, is one of the duo's most elaborate songs yet. It's also one of Beach House's most immediate, fully formed songs, something that this album has far more of than the band's debut. "You Came to Me" is a stunner, melding dark chamber pop ambience with lyrics that feel like they came from a surreal '70s AM radio hit. "Heart of Chambers" is downright soulful, with Legrand's keening voice and swelling organs giving it a truly devotional cast. Not surprisingly, given the album's title, Devotion's songs deal with love and loyalty, or the lack thereof: "Some Things Last (A Long Time)" is an aptly torchy, country-tinged ballad about carrying a torch for someone; "Astronaut" pines for a crush to be requited, filtering the innocence and drama of girl group pop through the band's gauzy approach. "Home Again" is just as sweet — but not nearly as reassuring — as its title suggests, setting lyrics like "Something about the way a heart is nailed above a hand" to finger snaps and a melody with a wintry sparkle. Like Beach House, Devotion sounds like it was made for, and possibly in, the dead of night. This time, though, Beach House's dark moods have more shades, and even a little bit of light, making them all the more compelling.

Customer Reviews

so good.

Unfortunately Beach House is one of those bands that will be overlooked untill they end up on Wes Anderson soundtrack or something tragic happens to one of the members and then all of the shoegazers will be into it. Regardless, I can't say enough about great/inspirational/and unique this band is. Victorias voice is hauntng and the melodies they compose, stay with me throughout the day. I've never been touched by music in this way before.

Beach house, more like waterbed (LOL)

I love this band. Listening to it is like lying on a waterbed; it quiet, it surrounds you, and it gently washes around you.

total romance

I love this album. It strikes me as very romantic... intimate and warm. It is music for all seasons. In the summertime it is light and breezy, and in the winter it is introspective and melancholy. How they do it, I'll never know.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Despite its summery name, Beach House creates music that is dark, dreamy, and alluringly hypnotic. Baltimore residents Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand (the niece of French composer Michel Legrand) formed the duo in 2005, with Legrand's hushed, Nico-like vocals and Scally's delicate instrumentation paving the way for their first batch of songs. Within a year, Beach House had charmed indie music enthusiasts across the blogosphere with its languid songcraft, and the eerie warmth of "Apple Orchard"...
Full Bio
Devotion, Beach House
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