Beach House
Devotion
(Carpark)
The lush indie-pop outfit Beach House is notable for two things: 1) they are a duo; 2) they are from Baltimore. Any shitty four-piece can sound like an orchestra on record, but Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have only a guitar, keyboard and microphones between them, and they use them to write songs in a town best known for its violent crime rate and its hip-hop scene’s brand of club music. Legrand sings in a mostly flat, androgynous voice stuck firmly in the middle of the mix; a distant, ethereal tool that makes way for the synth lines and drums loops to share equal space. This puts Beach House squarely in the headphones music category---throw Devotion (or the pair’s first, meandering LP) on at a party and you’d hear the beat, a pleasant drone and nothing else. Pull on your overheads---
earbuds are so bad for you---and it’s a whole new world. You catch the tiniest touches, like the brushes on the opener “Wedding Bell” or the bells-driven bridge between “Holy Dances” and “All the Years,” on which Legrand rhymes a bunch of words with the record’s title. This beautiful bauble of a band is destined to score indie films and cable series finales. And “D.A.R.L.I.N.G.” will be the last song on countless break-up mixtapes this year. All of this is enough to ensure the pair a pre-Transatlanticism Death Cab-like existence, and that is perfect.
Tara Thorne
categories: Coast pick

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