Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beach House: Bloom (2012)

(Sub Pop)


2010's Teen Dream crystallized Beach House's music into a perfect morsel of drone and sweetness, so the natural reaction of many fans to the terrific followup, Bloom, will be an accusation that it's "more of the same." Admittedly, this is quite true. The duo's sound is carried no further aside from a slight emphasis upon rhythm and electronics over shoegazing dream-pop -- but if songs are your thing, you're likely to find this their most immersive, moving effort to date.

The warm, dramatic "Myth" and gorgeously twisting "Lazuli," just to start, further Beach House's long-festering noise into the stuff of disco dreams -- in the proud and towering tradition of Cocteau Twins, they redefine escapist synth-filled forms as moments to live in and savor atop a secluded dance floor. Victoria Legrand's uniquely lilting, heavy voice, more transcendent than ever on "Wishes" and "New Year," provides the reassuring groundwork for this absorbing popcraft. Perhaps Bloom is just homing in on big ideas until they're more broadly accessible, but it has a flavor of confident, engagingly effortless beauty.

[Submitted to MT but unpublished. This record is close to a masterpiece and one of only a handful of truly exciting albums out this year. But you probably knew that already.]

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