by Kyle Shearin
The indie rock duo Beach House returns once again with their latest album, “Teen Dream.” Anyone familiar with the duo’s previous albums will feel right at home.
The new record boasts a much lighter, clearer, and more expressive sound, which allows for an overall more inclusive experience. It also keeps the pace moving surprisingly well for all of its moodiness and dream-like qualities.
Alex Scally plays the keyboard and guitar, while Victoria Legrand plays the organ and takes care of the vocals. The two formed in Baltimore.
The album was produced by Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Islands, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), whose influence no doubt led to the duo’s more clean and crisp acoustics. The improvement in sound has sacrificed the intimate nature of the band for a much lusher, vivid pop sound. The songs are still more or less melancholy and nostalgic, but given the refinements made in the production, the record comes off tighter and all around more youthful.
The opening track, “Zebra”, starts off creepily and becomes a refreshing delight with Legrand’s haunting vocals driving the melody. Another song off the album, “Walk in the Park,” arguably offers the catchiest chorus on the album. Beach House’s biggest asset, however, has always been the ability to allow the listener to incorporate their own imagery and imagination into the songs. This trend continues in “Teen Dream.”
With ten tracks, Teen Dream holds up after each spin and stays relentlessly consistent. All in all, the record’s hi-fi production doesn’t change the band’s ability to write mellow, dark, atmospheric songs that really stick.
Hopefully the band will attract the audience it deserves and continue to intrigue their already captured fans. If you haven’t given Beach House a proper shot before, “Teen Dream” may very well be their most accessible record to date.