ARTIST: Beach House
RELEASE: Depression Cherry
RELEASE DATE: 28/08/15
RECORD COMPANY: Bella Union
‘Depression Cherry’ – The latest album from Maryland based Beach House is a pleasing artefact. For a band who carefully control their aesthetic, it’s probably not too surprising that the physical form of the release, in red velvet, is almost as sumptuous as the songs it contains. Musically, Depression Cherry is a statement in exquisite taste. Lush vocals, sensitive synths, flashes of fuzzy guitar here and there. Lyrically, its all eyes and skies and sighs. This is dream pop, grown up. Think Jackie Kennedy, beautiful, poised and so very sad.
‘Levitation’ opens with a tremulous swell of synth and a shake of tambourine as the vocals sigh ‘levitating cos we want to to.’ It sounds so dreamy and effortless, I believe Beach House can levitate. You know, if they want to. Single ‘Sparks’ is a standout – the just-crunchy-enough guitar introduces a track that’s lusher and more layered than most of the record, but shares the languid rythmn that’s evident throughout.
There are a few out there noises on ‘Space Song’ but with good reason and it’s all still very lovely. The pretty chimes of ‘Beyond Love’ seem to obscure a darker tale. ‘I really wanna go’ comes the call. That chime continues in the swooning ‘10.37’. If any song showcases the sheer skill and good judgement of Beach House it is ‘PPP’ which pulls off a spoken word section perfectly.
The natural world provides the theme for the next two tracks where we flit and fly with the ‘Bluebird’ and sway in the fragrant breeze with ‘Wildflower’. Beach House leave us crying in the aisles with closer, the delicate ‘Days of Candy’ – a heart-breaking hymn, with a gorgeous vocal.
‘Depression Cherry’ is the sound of a band who have had time, resource and support to make everything ‘just so’. Sometimes striving for such perfection can erode the emotion, but Beach House have managed to ensure these songs are still affecting – a bittersweet treat wrapped around a melancholy centre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her time Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.