The band Beach House is rich with signification and connotation, and even explicit nods to dreams. For starters, their name is the most interesting sign — the pillar of “dreaminess” that floods as a motif throughout their catalog. It’d be noteworthy for anyone to hear the name Beach House and not conjure up images of a lovely, paradise-like, delightful withdrawal. For many of us, a beach house is a symbol of a retreat — a vacation, an escape from the mundane and the regularity of everyday existence, a dream of sorts. I like to think that Victoria Lagrand and Alex Scally, the musicians that comprise the Baltimore-based duo, hold this imagery close to heart. Being from Baltimore, or any metropolis, a coastal visit must be a dreamlike haven.
While it’s easy to argue that genre is a negating, anti-Kierkegaardian notion of labeling, Beach House is deservedly classified as dream-pop. Their sound is lush and ethereal, characterized by intermittent waves of loudness, droning instrumentation and Lagrand's breathy vocalizations. Beach House’s beautiful cacophony (racket, dissonance) ambushes one’s senses and emotions, and typically comes on softly and slowly — much like a vivid, forceful dream. The moments in which I’ve been most swept away by Beach House have been headphone-induced reverie-like environments: walking in a heavy nighttime snowstorm with my path blinded by large falling pillows of fluffy snow; and camping — lying on a plush sleeping bag in the silent woods surrounded by tall spruce sentinels and gazing at the sparkling star-studded sky.
Beach House has a remarkable aptitude for transporting you to an elysian atmosphere. Their latest album from Sub Pop records, Depression Cherry, has taken their aesthetics to a new level — the album is actually packed in a brilliant red velvet sleeve in both the CD and vinyl editions. Its opening track, “Levitation,” describes one character inviting another to join a dually influenced transcending journey, and ends with this wonderful line that resonates as Beach House’s M.O.: “There’s a place I want to take you, when the unknown will surround you.” I love this band for what they do to me. I love them for their capability to transport — it’s a commanding and invaluable ability in music. Here are some tracks to start your dream:
“Wild” from Bloom (2012)
"Levitation" from Depression Cherry (2015)
"Norway" from Teen Dream (2010)
"The Hours" from Bloom (2012)
"Silver Soul" from Bloom (2012)
"Space Song" from Depression Cherry (2015)
"Apple Orchard" from Beach House (2006)