Reviewed: Beach House “Depression Cherry” — a lush and sensual wonderland

beach house

It’s easy to forget that it’s been over a decade since Beach House first stepped onto the indie music scene with their self-titled debut. But after the critically-acclaimed Bloom, French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally were believed to have completed the four-part cycle of the band’s hypnotizing evolution and peaked.

But like a fine red Bordeaux wine from her home country, Legrand and Scally appear immune to the regression that comes with age–on the contrary, they seem to be thriving off it. Bloom was as dizzying as it was majestic in its melodies, with songs like “Myth” propelled forward by the presence of loud live drums–but for their fifth studio effort, the duo have managed to strip down that sound.

“You should see there’s a place I want to take you/When the train comes I will hold you/Cause you blow my mind.” So begins, “Levitation,” the slow-burning intro to the lush and sensual wonderland that is Depression Cherry. On that opening track, Legrand’s ethereal croons echo hazily through a colossal soundscape–one blanketed in a thick fog of reverberating synths and glowing electric guitars. The blaring melody sneaks up on you, the softness of her voice matched only by the ferocity of the powerful expulsions of passion that spout from her lungs.

Sonically, the duo stick closely to their guns; from the noisy fuzz of guitars on, “Spark,” which smolder like hot coals against Legrand’s uplifting vocalizations, to the galactic buoyancy of “Space Song.” There are a few breaks in that mold, the first of which is, “Beyond Love,” as luminescent electrics and bleakly-hopeful trills coagulate so beautifully that you almost forget the tragedy in its sad words.

“PPP” wows with its airy, spoken-word whispers and luxuriant organs–Legrand’s vocals oozing with an alluring tenderness that simultaneously breaks your heart and sets it aglow. Tracks like “Wildflower” and “Bluebird” pour out emotively complex, dreary ballads that are carried solely by quiet, simple melodies; while the album’s finale “Days of Candy” is a subtle crescendo backed by orchestral atmospherics.

Ultimately, Depression Cherry rollicks back and forth between familiar dream pop harmonies and serene, unembellished ditties, the result being the duo’s most organic album to date. Relying solely on Legrand’s effervescent vocals and Scally’s polished guitar duties, Beach House’s growth bleeds through the pages to soundtrack the heartache of their crestfallen tales.

Beach House’s Depression Cherry is out today, August 28 via Sub Pop. The duo have four upcoming show dates at the Fonda Theatre Dec. 9, 10, 11, and 12. You can get tickets here.

Words: Steven Ward

 

Beach House 2015 Tour Dates:
Aug. 18 Portland, ME — State Theatre
Aug. 19 Northampton, MA — Pearl Street Nightclub
Aug. 20 Burlington, VT — Higher Ground
Aug. 21 Buffalo, NY — Town Ballroom
Aug. 22 Millvale, PA — Mr. Small’s
Aug. 24 Albany, NY — Upstate Concert Hall
Aug. 25 Providence, RI — Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
Aug. 26 New Haven, CT — College Street Music Hall
Sep. 17 Columbus, OH — Newport Music Hall
Sep. 18 Cincinnati, OH — Bogart’s
Sep. 19 Royal Oak, MI — Royal Oak Theatre
Sep. 21 Milwaukee, WI — Pabst Theatre
Sep. 22 Minneapolis, MN — First Avenue
Sep. 25 Omaha, NE — Slowdown
Sep. 26 Lawrence, KS — Liberty Hall
Sep. 27 St. Louis, MO — The Pageant
Sep. 28 Memphis, TN — Minglewood Hall
Sep. 29 Tulsa, OK — Cain’s Ballroom
Oct. 01 Houston, TX — House of Blues
Oct. 02 New Orleans, LA — Civic Theatre
Oct. 03 Birmingham, AL — Saturn
Oct. 04 Nashville, TN — The Ryman Auditorium
Oct. 06 Atlanta, GA — Buckhead Theatre
Oct. 07 Asheville, NC — Orange Peel
Oct. 08 Saxapahaw, NC — Haw River Ballroom
UK + Europe
Oct. 24 Belfast, UK — Mandela Hall
Oct. 25 Dublin, IE — Vicar Street
Oct. 26 Glasgow, UK — ABC
Oct. 27 Manchester, UK — The Ritz
Oct. 29 Paris, FR — Pitchfork Music Festival
Oct. 30 London, UK — Shepherds Bush Empire
Nov. 02 Amsterdam, NL — Paradiso
Nov. 03 Brussels, BE — Autumn Falls @ AB
Nov. 04 Koln, DE — Gloria
Nov. 05 Luxemborg, LU — Den Atelier
Nov. 07 Reykjavik, IS — Iceland Airwaves
Nov. 10 Oslo, NO — Sentrum Scene
Nov. 11 Gothenburg, SE — Tradgarn
Nov. 12 Stockholm, SE — Debaser Medis
Nov. 13 Copenhagen DK — Vega
Nov. 14 Hamburg, DE — Kampnagel K1
Nov. 16 Berlin, DE — Huxley’s
Nov. 17 Munich, DE — Freiheiz
Nov. 18 Lausanne, CH — Les Docks
Nov. 20 Barcelona, ES — Apolo
Nov. 22 Madrid, ES — La Riviera
Nov. 23 Lisbon, PT — Armazén
Nov. 25 Porto, PT — Teatro sa da Bandeira
USA
Dec. 09 Los Angeles, CA — The Fonda Theatre
Dec. 10 Los Angeles, CA — The Fonda Theatre
Dec. 11 Los Angeles, CA — The Fonda Theatre
Dec. 12 Los Angeles, CA — The Fonda Theatre
Dec. 17 San Francisco, CA — The Fillmore
Dec. 18 San Francisco, CA — The Fillmore

 

Advertisement

RELATED CONTENT:

Beach House share enchanting new singles “PPP” and “Beyond Love”

New Music: Stream Beach House’s new single “Sparks”

Beach House announce new album “Depression Cherry” with two LA shows at Fonda Theatre

Beach House – Bloom – Album Review

 

beach-house-depression-cherry

Beach House Depression Cherry Tracklist

Levitation
Sparks
Play
Space Song
Beyond Love
10:37
PPP
Wildflower
Bluebird
Days of Candy

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.