I cannot, will not, stop talking about how amazing the new Beach House album, Teen Dream, is. Beach House has become hands down my favorite new band of the last couple years, thanks to their lush, shimmering sound and Victoria Legrand's husky, aching vocals. Their previous album, Devotion, has become one of my top 10 most personally important albums of all time, and their first self-titled album is lovely as well, albeit in a far more lo-fi way.
Listening to a new album from a beloved band is always a tenuous experience. It's a mix of giddy anticipation and self-protective anxiety. There is fear that one will be left cold, that the magic won't be there the way it had been previously. But 4 seconds after hitting play, I knew that Teen Dream was every bit as special as I hoped it would be.
Yes, the album feels a bit more produced than the first two, as tends to happen the bigger a band gets. But in Beach House's case, the higher production value is an asset. The album swells with romance and cavernous pining, and at times is even a bit more upbeat than one might expect. I would never use the word "pop," to describe it (the signature croon of the organ and tambourine punctuations keep things cast in delicious shadow), but I will say there are extremely melodic, catchy elements to it that keep it accessible, while still having the reverby emotional depth one has come to expect and adore.
You know the feeling of being at the school dance, sitting on the sidelines longing so deeply for that certain someone? Well Teen Dream is the sound of dancing with that person, of clutching them with your heart and and drowning in a wall of dark sonorous sparkle. Melodramatic, perhaps - but in the best way possible.