Review Summary: Beach House make dream pop relevant again with Bloom.
Is it any wonder that Beach House’s new record is entitled Bloom? Seems like this time two short years ago Beach House was getting acclimated to being hailed as the band at the forefront of the dream pop reinvention movement. Now, two years later and with a great deal of hype surrounding their fourth LP, Beach House seems a bit hesitant to accept such responsibility for spawning a reimagining of a genre that has lain dormant for quite some time. They might as well get used to it though, because with Bloom, the band just opened the floodgates to something I’m not sure even they were prepared for.
Contrary to how most people will perceive the band’s aptly titled fourth record Bloom, the title and the subsequent lyrical content of the record suggests an indifferent or dare we say, negative connotation to the otherwise positive stature that surrounds the word. But instead, if you carefully ponder the true meaning of Bloom, in the most general sense of the word, it would imply that something has to die before it can be reborn again; a theme that rears its head on much of the duo’s fourth record. But, that’s not to say the band doesn’t find sunshine through the clouds. While the lyrical content lends its hand to a more pensive than positive tone, the music finds itself soaked in a shimmering pile of airy synthesizers and rich, dreamlike melodies that are as vast as the ocean scenery complementing a warm summer’s evening.
Tracks like the record opener Myth make you wonder just how these expansive, ethereal sounds could bleed themselves through the four walls of a studio when they sound like they are being chartered by angels flying over an oceanic forefront. Victoria Legrand’s vocals blend perfectly as they float over the synthesizers and programmed drums as she swoons “What comes after this momentary bliss / The consequence of what you do to me / Help me to make it”. But the highpoint of the song comes with Legrand exclaiming “Let the ashes fly” as she sends the song off as if letting a bird free from its captor.
One thing that Beach House has perfected in its six years as a duo is the importance of melody and with every record the duo seems to up the ante just a bit more with melodies that get stuck in your head like peanut butter to the roof your mouth. The fourth track on the record, “Other People” is no exception as Beach House creates a vivid, vibrant palette of synthesizers that lead into an 80’s glossy filled chorus that leaves Legrand pondering “Other people want to keep in touch / Something happens and its not enough / Never thought that it would mean so much”. It would seem as if Legrand is pining over the way things were before life got complicated. Times don’t change, people do. And it seems Legrand is coming to terms with the fact that she never realized just how much it meant before it was too late.
We could literally write a review detailing every song and every aspect of what makes this record fantastic. But we’ll let the record speak for itself in that regard. What Beach House has done is effectively navigated their way out of a muddy dream pop scene that anyone with a synthesizer and knowledge of the reverb technique could lay claim to. With Bloom, Beach House has positioned themselves to bring dream pop to the masses once again and with four killer records to their name now, maybe Bloom was, in its most literal sense, foreshadowing after all.