February 28, 2008

Test Spin: Beach House

Print More

Cocktail-lounge keyboards never sounded so gorgeous. Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand transpose their reverie-like sound onto a cleaner, highly produced foundation in Devotion. Each track stands as its own distinctive orchestration, making more than due with sparse drums, floating guitars and uniquely archaic yet eerily relevant synths. Victoria’s divine, urbanely operatic vocals emerge from the depths of the band’s heavily ambient debut to become a rare and invaluable gem in the independent music scene.

Tracks such as “You Came To Me” build upon circling instrumentals to culminate in honey-sweet harmonies that wrap the listener in a warm and comforting groove. Beach House succeeds in creating elegance within simplicity, allowing a song like “Astronaut” to appear as a modern opus with a clearly succinct arrangement: sustaining organ tones, a drum machine and lyrics that could come straight from a Carla Thomas track: “Please be my baby/ Don’t be maybe.” This album is thoroughly abundant and seething with supreme loveliness.