A lot can be said for music that tells a story—immediately and distinctly engaging like a novel, often accompanied by an interesting moral. However, when an artist uses sound to convey emotion without the aid of anecdotes, the achievement is not only more impressive but also much more potent. Beach House is a veritable master of this trick—their music illustrates the indescribable melancholy for the magic of love lost. Their new album Bloom is a poignant ode to youth and dreams, revealing how brief, yet stunning, existence can be.
The duo behind Beach House, French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally, have been together since 2004 and produced four albums. They use a simple set-up—an organ, slide guitar, and programmed drums—to curate a lush sound-space that appears much larger. Their last album, Teen Dream, was so close to flawless that I worried Bloom might disappoint, even if it was a masterpiece. Instead, the group has matured (or bloomed, so to speak) into something even better.