It’s an incredibly delayed reaction, the simple drum machine beats take forever lost in a narcotic haze, so that when the impossibly slowed beats come all you can do is gently loll your head in acknowledgement. The bliss filled angelic female vocals are large bodied, reverb soaked, not necessarily disinterested but somehow distant. They sound like they were recorded in a hall, whilst the rest of the album was recorded somewhere else – perhaps someone’ lounge room, sometimes quite poorly at that. The instrumentation is sparse and simple, sometimes a little cute and dinky, other times relaxed, drawn out shoegazing seemingly without actually meaning to be. It’s organs keyboards, guitars and little else. The result is a certain stillness, a lost in the ether kind of feel, that taps into melancholy and alienation yet can also come across as either filled with new age love or “Helter Skelter’ creepiness depending how you choose to read it. This Baltimore duo are at times reminiscent of Mazzy Star, capturing the mood of Red House Painters yet blanketing them in a hazy fog of reverbed echoes. It’s the drugged out canter of the tunes that is the main story here, it makes Beach House feel unique and affecting, the simplicity of the tunes coming across as emotional honesty. Whether it is genuine is or not is another matter, but this lack of certainty continues to make Beach House strangely compelling and breathless listening.
(licensed locally in Australia by Mistletone from Carpark USA)
Bob Baker Fish