Review: Beach House – Bloom

In one way or another, Beach House records have always sought simplicity. From ticking drum machines and sharp keys in 2006’s Beach House, Beach House have always evoked simple, unindulgent bedroom pop. It is 2012’s Bloom which sees a striking expanse of density and depth; Beach House’s lyrics and melodies are settled within a more meticulously embroidered, still understated surrounding.

Myth begins aptly with a slow shaker and a unhurried bell tap, Legrand’s keyboard boldly presents itself, a shimmering guitar riff begins; it triggers a head of steam. The steam grows slowly, as Myth becomes incessantly more textured. Beach House lilt you into their haze, you are dragged unthinkingly and contentedly along, dreaming, half-conscious, until the song fully unravels and reaches abrupt silence. They drop you, dumbfounded after being confounded by a compelling, entrancing glow, you are left sightless, as if you have stared into the dull sun.

Wild follows, conjuring visuals of suburban boredom, broken homes behind slatted blinds and white screens and the inordinate faith placed in the escape mechanisms from an imperfect home: ‘Our father won’t come home, cause he is seeing double’. Wild builds slowly, as Legrand huffs perfectly to Scally’s nimble guitar and hydraulic percussion. Other People evokes an eternal, holy, hazy glow. Legrand whispers to her listener ‘wasn’t ever quite enough…right place at the wrong time’, it unravels weightlessly.

It is Wishes which conjures irreversible, heady intensity. It sees Beach House at their finest, it is a quietly spectacular piece, in the last third of Bloom. Legrand sings of ‘the moment when a memory aches’, she stretches the word ‘memory’ until her sultry husk breaks, ‘once in your life it happens once and rarely twice’. Her lingering hymn catches and cuts your heartstrings, she whispers her pain through her veiled advice – appreciate the present.

Amidst the build of Beach House’s hazy melodies, comes a recollection of perfect clarity, a moment of clear, unimpeachable thought. It would be difficult to describe Bloom as anything less than Beach House’s best album thus far.

Cat Gough