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Beach House injects fresh drama into their sound with new album '7'

Indie | Tuesday 22nd May 2018 | David

The plain and functional title of Beach House’s seventh effort suggests business as usual, and sure enough, the Baltimore dream pop duo are sounding more like their wistful selves than ever. Still, for a band that’s long been more interested in refining their distinct and disorienting sound than in breaking brave new ground, 7 finds singer Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally in an unusually impulsive and adventurous mood, with invigorating results.

As well as being at least the duo’s best album since 2012’s Bloom, 7 might also be the most they’ve sounded like a rock band in that time. From the spatter of drums that kick off album opener ‘Dark Spring’, there’s more conflict and tension than usual to these melancholic daydreams.

The thickly layered soundscapes of guitars and synths are still here in full effect, conjuring textures that are sorrowful, soothing, ominous and blissed-out – sometimes all at once. But Legrand and Scally also frequently take a more direct approach to sweeping listeners off their feet, like on the bracing ‘Dive’ when the sultry mood-piece steps up its tempo halfway through to becoming a romantically-charged stomper.

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Where previous albums generally aimed for a hypnotically unified listening experience, this new release sees the group delivering a thrillingly diverse set of tracks that crisscross between the dark and light extremes of their palette. For those of you still struggling to tell Beach House songs apart, this new album may be the immersive and accessible entry-point you’ve been waiting for.

Long-time fans, meanwhile, will find yet another euphoric series of sonic experiences to lose themselves in. While Beach House has long specialised in composing mesmerising tributes to fleeting moments of overwhelming heartbreak and ecstasy, 7 sees the duo injecting fresh drama into these dizzying feelings and the bittersweet memories they leave behind.

 

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