This week’s top album obviously went to the previously reviewed ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ from The Weeknd, but I can’t pass up an opportunity to discuss this treasure from Beach House.
It seems a rare luxury nowadays to be able to totally rinse an album; back in 2010, Beach House dropped ‘Teen Dream’, which was ridiculously easy to play on loop. From gentle beach-vibe bliss to desperately melancholy tones, that album was a certified hit. This new offering, ‘Depression Cherry’, not only comes packaged in an elegant, velvet fabric slipcase, but with a similar outlook on the experimental indie genre that they slotted into so nicely back in 2010.
The nine-tracker begins with ‘Levitation’, a soft, entrancing number, with a soothingly trippy nature. ‘Sparks’ is then a tad different, with a repetitive opening hook which thunders into a coarse, scuzzy riff that any metal outfit would probably be pleased with. The blunt, hormonal noise projected in this track is captivating, and was enough to make my obligatory list of ‘Honorary mentions’ throughout the weeks. This is definitely one for those favouring more of the harder indie, with its dark, terrorising elements, counterbalancing the sensationally stunning female vocals.
Promenade accordion synths transcend across bitterly shoegazy melodies in ‘Space Song’. If they entitled this to be a clear reminder of criteria to meet, then they have certainly ticked the box. Although this is the sort of quaint offering you’d expect as the soundtrack to a curious afternoon at an art gallery or fairground, it does harness a special feeling of space travel, somehow. The cushioning lyrics are delicate and humble, which is basically just another traditional, anticipated formula used so comfortably and regularly by Beach House.
’10:37′ is synth-led, again, but with more of a solid drum beat. By contrast, ‘PPP’ is graceful, but essentially exactly the same as many a piece from Beach House; in fact, this would have been so suitable to make the ‘Teen Dream’ cut. Slightly differently, though, ‘Bluebird’ is mysterious, with pillows of rapid drumming and whistling synths. This is another sugary number, but the album does harbour examples of stretching outside the general zone of norm. Granted, it’s only at points, but Beach House have mixed enough new concepts with the old, and fused another success.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Space Song’