Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: Beach House, Teen Dream

Beach House
Teen Dream

The past few years has seen a bundle of neo-shoegaze bands burst onto the alt rock scene, attempting to blend the sweetness of synth-rock with the tenderness of semi-acoustic, reflective indie… Few groups have been able to strike the balance between sweet and dour as successfully as Beach House has with their third album, ‘Teen Dream’. The towering vocals of Victoria Legrand, at their most expressive in ‘Lover of Mine’ and ‘Silver Soul’, channel a Fleet Foxes-esque monasticism that is splendidly leveled by Alex Scally’s wistful guitar and organ- an interplay on show in opener ‘Zebra’ and the later ‘Walk in The Park’. Adolescent angst is a minefield, and this album could easily have devolved into a confessional record reminiscent of 2009 prodigies, Girls. Yet the triumphant instrumentalism that explodes in clashing cymbals, heavy drums and tropical tambourines in tracks such as ‘10 Mile Stereo’ and ‘Used To Be’, craft an enriching sound that lies somewhere between Peter Bjorn & John and the post-rock outfit Explosions in The Sky. The accompanying DVD with a music video for each of the tracks is a bonus, but the album doesn’t really need it… ‘Teen Dreams’ is one of those rare records that rejects the parameters of indie and documents Beach House's evolution from angsty adolescence to finely balanced maturity.

--Gerard McCarthy
Host, "Artists in Exile," Sundays 2-4 pm on WGTB


Anonymous said...

...and they even had the audacity to call the album Teen Dream

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