“Equal Mind” is the b-side track from Beach House’s Record Store Day exclusive 7″, ‘Lazuli’.
Take A Listen: Equal Mind from Beach House
Take A Listen: White Moon from Beach House
The track “White Moon” can be found on Beach House’s new, ‘iTunes Sessions EP’, which is available now on, you guessed it, iTunes. The EP also features a few ‘Teen Dream’ reworks including, “Norway”, “Silver Soul”, and “Real Love”.
Beach House’s latest album, ‘Teen Dream’, was released a few weeks ago, and since then (even before then) countless blogs have dissected the nooks and crannies of it, so I guess that makes me somewhat late to this posting party. But, better late than never…I will keep it short.
If you were familiar with Beach House prior to ‘Teen Dream’, than the album probably sounds how you expected it to sound; there are no big surprises. The minimalistic and haunting nature of the organ/piano is still present, as are the old school drum machine beats. Although, their music does seem more accessible on this album, easier to spend time with. While ‘Teen Dream’ is by no means the most jubilant collection of songs, Legrand and Scally appear to have slightly lightened the mood on this album (compared to their debut). Victoria Legrand’s voice, whether pure or splashed with reverb, smoothly connects lyrics like, “The face that you saw in the door / Isn’t looking anymore / The name that you call in its place / Isn’t waiting for your embrace,” with Beach House’s signature, atmospheric sound.
Because Beach House sits in a noticeably defined comfort zone, their music can sound a bit redundant when listened to in large doses, which is why I tend to listen to them one or two tracks at a time. However, this time around song distinctions are much more obvious and most of the tracks on ‘Teen Dream’ have a clear personality. Currently my song of preference is “Real Love”; I’m drawn to the way it simply rests on Legrand’s voice and an organic piano…although it could have been a tad shorter in length. Some other standouts are: “Norway”, “Used To Be” (it deviates from the rest of the album), “Lover of Mine” and “10 Mile Stereo”.
On a side note, I was listening to ‘Teen Dream’ in my car while driving my nana to her canasta night, and she was totally tapping her fingers along to the music! The ability to garner appreciation across generations has to be a sign of quality music.
Beach House recently released the first single from their forthcoming album, ‘Teen Dream’, which is due out on January 26th via Sub Pop.
From the Beach House Sub Pop page: “We’re the same people, but this record has changed our directions,” Legrand muses. “We were forced to let go of people and things we were holding onto as individuals: normalcy, daily rituals, the ability to take care of ourselves. We were dropped into a wilderness, but we had more clarity than we’ve ever had before.”
Driven to avoid distraction, the two marched further into isolation, to bottle up all those wild visions away from home. They packed up their lives and settled into a converted church in upstate New York with producer Chris Coady. For a month they continued the birthing process, sweating and pushing out sounds inside a cocoon of their very own weaving. “It wasn’t about arriving at a church and it revolutionizing a feeling,” Scally notes. “It was a continuation of what we were doing without disruption. Whenever something good happens, we look at each other and we know that was it. It’s instinctual and it’s private.” Through the course of a month, they chased down songs and dark rushes, the creative telepathy that Scally and Legrand share together taking a strangely physical hold. “There’s a different level of intimacy, a physicality on Teen Dream,” Legrand explains, pacing back and forth. “Rhythmically, there’s new motion. This record touches you. On your chest.”
Take A Listen: Norway from Beach House
Download: Norway (Right click on link and select “Save Target As” in IE or “Save Link As” in Firefox)
Who knew that Grizzly Bear was so popular with the youngsters? The only time I ever saw anything about Grizzly Bear in mainstream media clippings was when Jay-Z and Beyonce showed up at their concert. You crazy for this one Rick!
First to grace The Variety stage was the three-piece band Beach House, although they typically record as a duo. Right when the music started I noticed the lighting and how it was glowing off the triangle-shaped screen that was behind them…I dug it. Beach House plays lackadaisical tunes that are haunted by organ sounding keys, so the dark setting was very complimentary. Victoria Legrand’s voice is wonderfully ambient in a live setting, and in fact, I think she mesmerized the guy in front of me to such an extent, that he literally fell asleep. I really enjoyed their set until about four songs in, then I started getting somewhat antsy. The band was pretty much stationary the entire time, and the songs started blending together. Obviously going into the show I wasn’t expecting cirque du soleil craziness on stage, but the slightest bit of flare can go a long way, some added benefit of seeing a band live rather than hearing a recorded version of them…even if it’s “shoegaze”. And for some odd reason, their sound kept on reminding me of Napoleon Dynamite. Don’t get me wrong, Beach House is still an ideal choice after a stressful day.
Next up to take the stage was Grizzly Bear…and might I add, their stage set-up was awesome. There were a bunch of mason jars dangling on stage with light bulbs inside of them, and the lighting technician did a spectacular job mingling the lights with the music (even though it messed with my photo taking). I, apparently unlike the masses, did not hop on the Grizzly Bear fan-wagon until fairly recently, and by recently, I mean after seeing them live. Their latest album, ‘Veckatimest’, certainly brought them much deserved attention but with all the hype around them lately, I sort of got turned off. Now, I can honestly say, I get it, Grizzly Bear is a stellar, versatile, and talented band. I had no idea that they switch the vocals off between three members…it was a great way to subtly keep things fresh. They kicked off their set with the track, “Southern Point” and moved into “Cheerleader”, but after about five songs in, Grizzly Bear’s energy started getting noticeably brighter. The lovely Victoria Legrand joined the boys on stage to perform a live rendition of their newest, yet to be released single, “Slow Life”, which will be featured on the upcoming, Twilight: New Moon soundtrack.
While Grizzly Bear isn’t the most animated band to watch, as their music is pretty mellow, they never came off as stagnant, especially the bass player (and flute player, and tinkerer) who was continually changing roles. Plus I liked that they concluded their set with an encore performance of the slow burner, “He Hit Me”; it was a delicate closing to the evening.