Devotion

Studio Album by released in 2008

Devotion review

What hides behind Beach House?

A word combination Beach House evokes a set of fully standard associations. The sea, bungalow, send, summer, heat, to rest. So it is small wonder if you expect to hear something cheerful, stirring and hot from a band that carries such a name. But stereotypes are the very last things Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand - the members of American indie duo Beach House – are thinking about when composing their music. Mystic and slightly sad atmosphere, dreamy images and liquid melodies - that's what they hide behind this, seemingly sunny name. If you think that such things cannot go with each other, than you're obviously mistaken. They do match and quite harmonically at that. Beach House simply offer you to take a look at this image form a different angle, in a different time, season and under different circumstances. Beach House's first album, which was released in 2006, had an instant success and received a whole bunch of positive reviews. Particularly, AllMusicGuide called it "one of the most mystical indie pop surprises to arrive in 2006" and Pitchfork Media named it to be the 16th best album of 2006. In a word, people were waiting for continuation. Of course, nobody was setting huge hopes upon them, but still their sophomore album promised to be interesting at the least.

Devotion sounds much bigger than simply Lo-Fi indie

So, this year Beach House came back on the stage with their new album Devotion. And it must be said at once – in general, this record sounds much better than its predecessor. Of course, the backbone of Beach House remains the same, but now their sounding features confidence, newfound strength and probably the main thing in this list – now they are trying to please their listeners. Their debut album was purely emotional thing, something like a big piece of a certain mood; you could either like it or dislike it, that's all. But now Alex and Victoria connected some additional elements to this very emotional substance and it makes Beach House sound much bigger than simply attractive Lo-Fi indie-pop they once were. Their music is the same measured flow of ghostly revelations but this time it has much more exact details. Their arrangements grew more diverse, their sound palette became richer and the music as such became more decorated with details like modest guitar lines or simple but very effective backing vocals.

Everything sounds simple and accessible

You shouldn't expect that Beach House would strike you with their musicianship in the technical sense of this word. Virtuosity is definitely not their cup of tea. The arrangements sound very simple. The main instrument here is a keyboard; of course, rhythm section and guitars accompany it but in the most cases the arrangements are based on organs, harpsichords and things alike. Beach House's strength lies in the rich imagery of their music. The most distinctly sounding songs are placed in the beginning of the album. For example such songs as Wedding Bell and Gila perfectly demonstrate that Beach House have a knack for good pop melodies. By the middle of the record the sleepy, psychedelic atmosphere grows more prominent. Listen Heart Of Chambers for instance – this is a great track, it sounds very beautiful and friendly. By the end of the album you find Beach House swimming far and away in the territory of hallucinations and dreams. At least this is what you think when you hear D.A.R.L.I.N.G. However they still manage to remain friendly and even poppy. The huge advantage of this album is that Beach House's music sounds accessible even despite its experimental character. There are no incomprehensible or scaring things. This music is for those who like dreaming in solitude, who loves beauty of autumn and who understands the charm of good old psychedelia.