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Video of the Moment #2854: Beach House

 
By on Wednesday, 20th June 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Last month, Baltimore dream pop duo Beach House released their seventh album. Appropriately titled simply ‘7’, the new LP marked a new era for the pair, who eschewed working with long-time producer Chris Coady, instead collaborating with Sonic Boom in a less stifling producer-artist relationship. Their latest promo video, for ‘Black Car’, is also obviously named, starring the titular dark vehicle driving through the snow but without a driver. Given how boiling it has been in TGTF Towers this summer, a cooler looking video is much appreciated. Watch the video below. ‘7’ is out now on Sub Pop. For all of TGTF’s past coverage on Beach House, go here.

 

TGTF ‘Playlist’: Valentine’s Day 2018

 
By on Friday, 16th February 2018 at 11:00 am
 

Header photo modified from the original by jessicahtam on Flickr

Across social media platforms this past Wednesday, musicians gifted Valentines to their listeners in the form of–what else?–new music. To continue these artists’ generous spirit of love and giving, we at TGTF would like to share a small sampling of the LOVE-ly new songs we’ve heard over the past week. We’d normally do this in the format of a Spotify playlist, but as some of the songs aren’t available on Spotify just yet, we’ve decided to share them more in the form of a mixtape, including videos and streams from YouTube and Soundcloud.

Among the highlights of our list is a brand new track from American singer/songwriter Ryan Adams. Its bright, jangly guitars and lyrical Beatles reference (“all you need is love”) are are markedly more optimistic than Adams’ usual lovelorn fare. For those listeners on American side of the pond, Adams has accompanied his new track with another Valentine surprise: he will play a one-off show at the famed Colorado concert venue Red Rocks on 14th June 2018 with support from Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit.

Canadian troubadour Dan Mangan takes aim at our sentimental side with a simple but evocative new piano ballad called ‘Fool for Waiting’. Mangan’s singing voice is light and clear yet full of feeling, as he delivers lofty emotional declarations like “Some say I’m a fool for waiting/ they don’t know this fool doesn’t mind.’

Australian folk pop singer Vance Joy is set to release his second LP, the romantically titled ‘Nation of Two’ on the 23rd of February via Atlantic/WEA. The album’s most recent single ‘Call If You Need Me’ is an honest and straightforward plucked guitar ballad that plays right to the strengths that made Joy famous around the release of ‘Riptide’.

James Bay, once referred to here as wearing “Hitchin’s most famous hat”, has recently reinvented himself with a new look as well as a novel electro-pop sound for his recent single ‘Wild Love’. Luckily for those of us who quite liked his debut LP ‘Chaos and the Calm’, Bay hasn’t entirely abandoned his old ways. His soulful singing is somewhat muted here, but his wailing guitar is still very much in evidence near the end of the track.

Speaking of electro music, Irish husband-and-wife duo New Portals have released a starkly atmospheric new track titled ‘Inch’, just in time for some deep post-Valentine’s Day introspection. They describe the track not as a love song, per se, but as being “about the difficult decision to be made in a relationship when it seems like the spark has gone.”

Indie rock singer Eleanor Friedberger has announced a new LP with the release of an upbeat synth pop track called ‘In Between Stars’. In keeping with the Valentine hangover effect, Friedberger’s album is titled ‘Rebound’, and is due out in May via Frenchkiss Records (bien sûr!).

Baltimore-based electro duo Beach House dropped their new track ‘Lemon Glow’ without fuss or fanfare as Valentine’s Day drew to a close in American time zones. Shared with he simple Twitter message “Wishing everyone out there love tonight”, ‘Lemon Glow’ immediately attracted the Internet’s attention with the undulating optical effects in its video as well as the reverberant oscillations in its soundscape.

Last but not least, American rock singer Butch Walker shared a cheeky cover version of 10cc’s‘s romantic 1970s’ track ‘I’m Not In Love’, recorded with French songwriting duo The Dove and the Wolf. The French pair’s version is an upgrade of sorts, with silky female vocals and Walker’s surprisingly delicate whisper sliding easily into the song’s smooth soft rock arrangement.

 

Album Review: Beach House – Depression Cherry

 
By on Thursday, 3rd September 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Shawn Brackbill

beachhouse-depressioncherry-900Despite my family connection to the Baltimore area, I haven’t until now taken the opportunity to listen to the Charm City-based band Beach House, and I was surprised to learn that their latest album ‘Depression Cherry’ is the fifth in their discography. Comprising French-born Victoria Legrand on vocals and keys and Baltimore native Alex Scally on guitar, the pair have been on the music scene for over 10 years. They released their self-titled debut album to critical acclaim in 2006 and their output has been regular ever since, with ‘Devotion’ in 2008, ‘Teen Dream’ in 2010 and ‘Bloom’ in 2012.

The wait for ‘Depression Cherry’ has been slightly longer, as a carefully considered result of Beach House’s stated desire to “let ourselves evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which we exist.” The press release for the album continues, “With the growing success of ‘Teen Dream’ and ‘Bloom’, the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from our natural tendencies.”

‘Depression Cherry’ marks a deliberate “return to simplicity, with songs structured around a melody and a few instruments, with live drums playing a far lesser role.” This quote is an important footnote in the context of the album. While the songs’ central guitar and keyboard melodies are allowed to take precedence and evolve in their own natural sort of way, the rhythm of the songs and their underlying structures remain quite nebulous. Legrand’s breathy vocal lines fall somewhere in between, like a helium balloon tied to a child’s finger, safely anchored in place but floating blissfully above.

The band describe ‘Depression Cherry’ as “a color, a place, a feeling, an energy that describes the place you arrive as you move through the endlessly varied trips of existence.” Opening track ‘Levitation’ immediately alludes to that statement with shimmering, slowly moving keyboard harmonies and Legrand’s enticing repeated invitation, “there’s a place I want to take you.”  From that starting point, Beach House take on the concept of energy with the harder-edge and slightly discordant guitar sound of ‘Sparks’. The heavily distorted and disorienting instrumentation plays perfectly into the second verse lyrics, “hallucination comes / think of everyone / that never shared before / from my mouth to yours / and then it’s dark again / just like a spark”.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/GfITojs_mNg[/youtube]

The buoyant, weightless feeling of ‘Space Song’ is energized by a woozy guitar melody, which provides a foundation for its unresolved lyrical reverie: “tender is the night for a broken heart / who will dry your eyes when it falls apart? / what makes this fragile world go ‘round? / were you ever lost, was she ever found?” ‘Beyond Love’ is shaped by another piercing guitar melody, but gradually progresses into something more ethereal ahead of the atmospheric track ’10:37′. ‘PPP’ has a more prominent swaying rhythm, with the organic sound of live drums bookending the gentle interlude of ‘Wildflower’ on one side. On the other side, ‘Bluebird’ has a tapping percussion intro that sounds more like a woodpecker, but is softened by a beautiful keyboard melody and an easy, flowing harmonic progression.

The album closes with artfully layered choral vocals in ‘Days of Candy’. The wistful lyrical lines “I know it comes too soon, the universe is riding off with you / I want to know you there, the universe is riding off with you” take the imagination full circle, back to the elusive place described earlier in the album’s press release.

With only nine tracks and a concise 45-minute duration, ‘Depression Cherry’ focuses on Beach House’s cerebral artistic purpose without becoming self-indulgent or excessive. Each track works to evoke its own feeling and ambience as well as blending into the hazy, dreamy soundscape of the overall sequence. Opaque and shadowy around the edges, ‘Depression Cherry’ isn’t a precisely defined colour, but rather a delicately balanced continuum of dark and light.

8/10

Beach House’s fifth studio album ‘Depression Cherry’ is available now via Sub Pop.  Previous TGTF coverage of Beach House can be found right back here.

 

Live Gig Video: Beach House release performance film inspired by Pink Floyd

 
By on Thursday, 7th February 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

Baltimore’s Beach House recently filmed themselves in the middle of the night, performing four songs to put together this atmospheric, Pink Floyd-inspired film called Forever Still. The duo would be better at explaining this than I ever could, so take it away, guys:

Forever Still is directly inspired by Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii. We wanted to perform in a non-typical setting and felt the songs would resonate in a more majestic and spiritual landscape. The experience was an intense three nights of filming. Everyone involved in production and crew was benevolent in their time and talented in their efforts. We were very lucky to have the help and hard work of many people who aided and lent their abilities to our vision. The basic concept is four songs performed from sunset to sunrise. We tried to keep the edits minimal with long takes in order to focus on the energy of the songs, the landscape, and the physicality of live performance. The entire film was shot in or around Tornillo, Texas, where we recorded ‘Bloom’. Like ‘Bloom’, we hope that ‘Forever Still’ is experienced as a whole, long form.

Watch the video, all of its 26 minutes of epicness, below. The band are scheduled to perform two dates – the 25th and the 26th of March – at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgD8vWIB8hs[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Beach House put a collection of amateur film together for ‘New Year’ video

 
By on Thursday, 3rd January 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

Baltimore’s Beach House have put together what they’ve admitted to as “more of a home video thing, not a music video…….we just thought these moments and the memories they involve fit this song.” The song in question is, of course, appropriately ‘New Year’, featured on the band’s 2012 album ‘Bloom’. Starring an orange tabby that just didn’t get enough screen time (in my opinion, anyway) and time-lapse video, watch it all put together below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7eOOJj9sFQ[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1043: Beach House

 
By on Saturday, 17th November 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

“A series of intense, violent, sexual, and sad moments” – this is how the new Beach House video for ‘Wild’, directed by Johan Reneck, is described on YouTube. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRSDzmAy-X8[/youtube]

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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