Album: Beach House, Teen Dream (Bella Union)

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The Independent Culture

I wasn't that keen on this third album by Baltimore's Beach House the first few times I heard it, but it's gradually wearing down my resistance, thanks largely to the winsome charm of the melodies to songs such as "10 Mile Stereo" and "Walk In The Park".

Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand are a "dream-pop" duo in the vein of Joy Zipper or Dean & Britta, but less texturally interesting and somewhat more stilted in their arrangements. The endlessly cycling guitar and keyboard arpeggios are pursued with the doggedly methodical manner of shoegazers, and the mid-tempo 4/4 persists for virtually the entire album – indeed, when it shifts to a skittish 6/8 on the final track "Take Care", the contrast lends a giddy glow of compassion to the sentiment "I'll take care of you/ If you ask me to/ In a year or two". But it's impossible to dislike tunes as graceful as these, particularly when carried by a voice as engaging as Legrand's. Like Nico, whose continental poise she possesses in no small measure, Legrand makes the most of a constricted vocal range, favouring a swooning delivery which brings an airy, gossamer feel to lines like "They say we'll go far, but they don't know how far we'll go" – suggesting that however far it is, it'll be reached in a state of soaring bliss.



Download this 10 Mile Stereo; Walk In The Park; Take Care

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