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Beach House “7”

$15.99 $13.99

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Description

While Beach House’s sound has always focused on hypnotic melodies and Victoria Legrand’s rich vocals — and likely always will — they’ve found different ways to explore this potent combination on each album. Legrand and Alex Scally delivered some of their most dramatic experiments on 2015’s Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, which presented a surprising amount of sides to their music even as they stripped it down to the basics. If possible, they’re even more committed to change on their aptly named seventh album. To make 7, Beach House opted to work with Sonic Boom instead of longtime producer Chris Coady; brought their live drummer James Barone into the studio; and recorded songs as soon as they were done writing them instead of waiting to record all of them at once. This creative liberation resonates on every track, whether Scally and Legrand build up the instrumentation or pare it back, touch on their familiar sounds or invent new ones. 7’s sequencing spotlights just how wide its range is, juxtaposing songs that sound wildly different, but equally like Beach House. The galactic whoosh of “Dark Spring” — a key example of Boom’s influence — sounds all the more vast next to “Pay No Mind,” the band’s warmest, most down-to-earth love song yet. Similarly, “L’Inconnue”‘s blissful call-and-response contrasts nicely with the edgy “Drunk in LA,” where the beats and synths evoke rain-slicked streets and city lights. Then there are the songs that feel completely new: with its warping synths and enigmatic vibe, “Lemon Glow” gives the Beach House mystique a sci-fi update, while the sleek “Black Car” incorporates hints of dance and R&B without sounding like the duo is chasing trends. “Dive” is another standout, shifting from rainy-day contemplation to speeding down the road with the windows down in a way that’s seamless and exhilarating. Elsewhere, Legrand uses 7’s eclectic sounds as an opportunity to experiment with different lyrical perspectives that add depth to the album’s dreamy surfaces, as on “Girl of the Year,” where its cavernous sweetness echoes its tale of a young woman famous for self-destruction. Throughout 7, Beach House feel more concerned with capturing moments fully rather than conforming to notions of what a cohesive album is. That these songs sound like they came from different albums is ultimately more refreshing than disorienting, and the excitement that courses through each track is palpable. Scally and Legrand could have only made 7 at this point in their career — not only do they have the skill to change things up, but the wisdom to know how and when to do so.

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