This evening I had the pleasure of heading to The Macbeth on Hoxton Street to hear the new Beach House record Teen Dream. The album is done and ready to go, and Bella Union kindly hosted an album playback a full three months in advance of the release date.
I was excited, obviously. There were free drinks and postcards with the track listings on. I decided to draw smiley faces by the songs that I thought were good. By the end there were smiley faces by every single track; the album is superb. Much like Devotion, I think that it’s the type of record that rewards repeated listens, and I can’t wait to own the album and sit with it on repeat.
The album opens with, my personal favourite, Zebra. It’s gorgeous, completely-swoon worthy. It feels warm and familiar (the new material isn’t much of a departure from the old songs) and is quite breathtaking. Victoria’s voice is rich, and so powerful. I made notes on the album, but, as with whenever I am given a pen and paper, it’s mostly doodles and the odd word. For Zebra I drew a Zebra (see what I did there?) and wrote ‘AMAZING WOW WOW WOW WOW’. It is exactly that. The song is superb and I can’t think of any way it could be any better. The album has the same dreamy feel as with all of Beach House’s material.
The slide guitar, egg shakers and tambourine… your foot taps along for the whole record. In fact, I really have no idea how long the album is… it just washes over you and is done in no time. Perhaps I should have taken better notes. For track two, Silver Soul, I wrote ‘Swoon’ and ‘the slide guitar is lovely. Track three is Norway, for which I wrote: ‘egg shaker is nice. Victoria’s voice is A-MAZING’. Victoria has a wonderful voice, both live and on record. It’s spot on. Track four was another giant favourite, as soon as I get the album and listen to Zebra on repeat, next up I’m listening to Walk In The Park on repeat. There’s this one part where Victoria sings this line that goes ‘in a matter of time‘. The way she sings it gives you chills, her voice just rices and it is completely brilliant.
Next is a re-working of 2008′s single Used To Be. It’s not too dissimilar, apart from the ending has changed. They’ve got rid of the even if I tried so hard/we could wait until the summer lyrical overlap. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this, because I think the song was perfect to begin with, but nonetheless I enjoyed the song very much. Lover of Mine is track six, I wrote ‘mmm foot tappy’ and drew a foot. For the next track, Better Time, I put ‘nice intro, nice guitar, the ending is brilliant’ and also noted ‘they did this one at Cargo!!!!!!!!!!!!’. Last December I saw the band at Cargo and this was the only new song they played, which I loved. I was hoping to hear it again at Union Chapel but they didn’t play it; I’m glad it made it on to the album.
The next two tracks, 10 Mile Stereo and Real Love are both lovely but I definately feel like they could be Teen Dream‘s Turtle Island; songs that I will come to love hugely over time. I don’t know why, but I was never grabbed by Turtle Island, but then it just twigged that it was absolutely brilliant and became one of my favourites from Devotion.
The album closer, Take Care, is another highlight. The epic drums, and Victoria’s voice as she sings ‘I‘ll take care of you/if you ask me to‘ is so beautiful. Absolutely wonderful. Gush gush gush.
And there you have it: one of the best records of 2010, no doubt. The production is perfect, the songs are great… it’s definately a grower. I’ve always found that to be the way with Beach House, the more you listen, the more you love. I’ve had a constantly rotating chart of favourite songs, because every song has so much richness that you can find new parts to love, which give new reasons to listen on repeat.
Also, I just drafted my list of my favourite 40 live acts of the year. Beach House are obviously there. This band are brilliant. The album is out over here on January 25th via Bella Union. I can’t wait.