Back in 2009 I listened to a ton of XM Radio. I would drive to and from school, about a half hour each way, and switch through the dials until I came across a station that played indie music and only indie music. I became addicted to the radio station and started hearing new band after new band until it became an overwhelming list of bands I’d never listen to. At one point I had nearly 50 bands lined up as bands to download but I had neither the time nor the money to do so. However, every now and then a band would break through the mold and I felt obligated to download the album right away.
Beach House was one of those bands that really stood out to me with the breathtaking vocals and the band’s ethereal music I was hooked. I went home and downloaded their breakthrough album “Teen Dream” and that quickly became my summer album for 2010. Then, this Sunday, when I was looking for an album I found out Beach House released “Bloom” on May 15th, 2012 and that was that.
Beach House has a very distinct style and a sound that is truly all their own. I’d say a lot of bands have sounds or styles that are unique in some way but few bands are unique to the level that Beach House achieves. Critics like to call the music “dream pop” because of the slow and atmospheric rhythms that combine with the pop like overtones. It’s a sound that is really hard to describe but when you hear it for the first time you just get it. As someone who has listened to Beach House frontwards and backwards I can say that “Bloom” is certainly a great starting point as it is just as great as their other works.
“Bloom” exerts a feeling of whimsy and dream-like euphoria that few albums or even musical genres can bring about. Beach House just has this quality to their songs that make each one a dream like adventure that is fully engrossing and entertaining. From the opener “Myth” to the ender of “Irene” I don’t think there is a single bad song on the entire album whatsoever. That’s something that deserves recognition, most albums have a song or two that people skip over or think of as “filler” songs. However, “Bloom” is from start to finish a great album filled with great songs and that type of consistency is hard to find.
It’s hard to pick out a song or two to talk about specifically because they all have qualities that make them unique and I wouldn’t want one to shine above the others. The songs all share the intrinsic Beach House quality of being completely relaxing but each one brings something new to the table. The vocals are always incredible as Victoria Legrand has an absolutely beautiful voice that is hard to duplicate. She doesn’t hit high notes like some or reach deep basses like others but instead she has an incredible voice all her own that has been compared quite often to that of Nico’s.
This week’s album wasn’t too big of a surprise for me because I knew I’d love it, but I couldn’t stop myself from listening to “Bloom”. Normally I like to pick an album that can go either way but this time my love for Beach House’s uniqueness overruled any notions of adventuring outside of what I know. When I found Beach House’s mesmerizing tunes a couple of years ago I was completely enthralled and I probably played “Teen Dream” in my car a bit too much. Now, two years later, I can comfortably say that when this music project is said and done this December, “Bloom” will be playing on my iPod day after day for a long long time.
Standout track- None- The entire album is worthy of praise and it would be a shame to pick one above the rest for any reason.
Listen to it if- You don’t mind having your summer getting consumed by their music.
Don’t listen to it if- Nope, I got nothing.
Overall opinion- When an album has tracks that are all as good as the album in its entirety that immediately says something about the quality of the album and in this case it’s only good things.