Cutting through the dense haze of previous records,
Beach House delivers Teen Dream with
surprising gusto. Victoria Legrand’s delectably androgynous voice takes center
stage on refreshingly sharp and pressing tracks that delve concisely into careful pop.
Conceived within the isolated walls of an old church in upstate New York, Beach House continue their self-explorative nostalgia,
focusing much of the album on the passage of time. Embedded within piano, organ and soft-spoken guitar is the constant theme of growing up
and moving on.
“Zebra” heaves the curtains wide for Beach House’s greatest
album to date. Opening with a hushed pulse, the track elegantly blossoms into a
gorgeous crescendo of oozy voices and crashing cymbals. There is a definitive formula that the band hasn't left behind, as evidenced in the lightheaded synths in “Silver Soul”, or in the ponderous layering in tracks like “Better Times” and “Used To Be.”
Indeed, Teen Dream never departs from the duo's trademarked ambiance, but it also pushes through the fog to experiment with aural clarity and musical variety. “Norway”
knocks it out of the park with breathy harmonies and nauseous guitar that seamlessly embellish Legrand’s quaking voice.
result is, without a doubt, beautiful.