Record Routine: Surprise Beach House album adds new depth to canon
After releasing Depression Cherry less than two months ago, Thank Your Lucky Stars is coming as something of a surprise to the many fans of Beach House and alternative music. Sub Pop has again partnered with the dream-pop band out of Baltimore, Md., to release the band’s sixth full-length album.
As stated by the band in an interview with Pitchfork, “the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place.” This is evident on their critically acclaimed single, “Sparks,” released earlier this summer, and their highly praised album, Depression Cherry,released at the end of August.
This new release, Thank Your Lucky Stars, is an intriguing mix of the dreamier, poppier Beach House sound that rules much of Teen Dream and Bloom, and the distorted, louder Beach House that was introduced on Depression Cherry. The rising inclusion of distortion in alternative rock and rap, and the juxtaposition therein, shows a move in pop music towards an edgier sound, a sound that embraces the less audible and the more cryptic.
Thank Your Lucky Stars immediately introduces the listener to Beach House’s increased usage of alternative rock tendencies, as “Majorette” begins with a few bars of drum and guitar riffs. Beach House continues into “She’s So Lovely,” with a lessened beats-per-minute than older Beach House projects, and a focus on a few instruments as opposed to a slew of electronic sounds crowding the stereo.
“One Thing,” a song that Beach House performed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” brings distortion back into the picture, while keeping out the agitating electro-annoyance of the former Beach House sound. “Elegy to the Void” is a very entertaining combination of dream-pop Beach House and distortion rock Beach House. A lonely synthesizer, reminiscent of Bloom, descends through scales throughout the song, while vocalist Victoria Legrand sings of dark metaphors and instrumentalist Alex Scally presents the screeching distortion of Beach House’s new approach to guitar.
Thank Your Lucky Stars is completed with a tribute to sad dance floors and the old Beach House sound in “Somewhere Tonight.” While bringing to mind the slow dance songs of the 1960s, “Somewhere Tonight” also creates a reminiscent feeling for the electronic music that began the band’s career.
Whether or not Thank Your Lucky Stars is a spinoff or secondary project to Depression Cherry, this new, “more aggressive place” that Beach House has found is paying off very well.
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