With Arctic ‘Mun-kays’ taking me over the edge, to almost liking Tranquillity Base, I thought I should opine on the album I’ve listened to most in the last two weeks, 7 by Beach House.
I have to say, at the outset, I am sat in front of an exceptional pair of speakers; these Focal Kanta speakers are certainly my favourite listen since the Sopra No. 2s. They are crisp, wide open and packed with detail so with this style of music, sort of dream pop, or lounge pop (ethereal new wave I’ve seen written), they are totally immersive and wonderful. With this in mind it is quite easy to like just about any music.
It really is like being in a bit of a daydream
The album doesn’t start ethereal mind you, with the opening track ‘Dark Spring’ clattering through with a drum burst that slightly upset my anticipation. However, things settle down smoothly. There is a noticeable synth vibe after the first track, that is pleasant and newer for Beach House. ‘Pay No Mind’ sounds fantastic on this system with the base line and vocal from Victoria LaGrand echoing Liz Fraser from The Cocteau Twins from my formative musical years. Indeed as ‘Lemon Glow’ passes softly by I am thinking of the scale and quality of the production of this album. It is beautifully balanced and paced.
For me the album does feel as if it tails of a touch, in terms of melody and rhythm after ‘Black Car’. It is not as strong throughout as Depression Cherry in respect of the consistency but based on some of the music I’ve heard this year, it is up there.
There is a sense of drama and weight to this album that is very interesting and pleasant indeed. The best example of this is the lyrics and fallen imagery of ‘Drunk in LA’, a genuinely beautiful piece of work. It really is like being in a bit of a daydream. I just wonder, with this album, ‘Lucky Stars’ and ‘Depression Cherry’ whether there is more to come from our modern day Cocteau Twins, I hope so.
Dark Spring ***
Pay No Mind ****
Lemon Glow ***
Drunk In LA *****
Black Car ***
Lose Your Smile ***
Girl of the Year ***
Last Ride ***
Album – 7
Artist – Beach House
Released – 11th May 2018
Download This At Least – Dive, Drunk in L.A.
Source – Tidal
Player – Naim NAC-N 272
Amplification/Output – NAP 250/Focal Kanta (Gaulois Blue!)
My Rating – 3.5