#10. Beach House: Devotion

This “dream-pop” duo based out of Baltimore, Maryland (the location of one of my favourite tv shows, The Wire) were introduced to me perhaps a year ago. High praise emanated from some trusted friends, but for whatever reason it wasn’t appealing to me at the time. Most likely, I was headlong into another album and just couldn’t part ways to take on a new group. It happens.  So in perusing over my digital albums, I’ve come to realize that, like my bookshelf that contains a handful of books I’ve never read, my digital collection has suffered similar neglect. There will be a few more of these over the year but let’s start with Beach House‘s sophomore release, “Devotion.”

It should also be noted that this album will be the first on my list to feature female lead vocals.

Great pop opening.

While listening to the 2nd track, I can see why they’ve become acquainted with Grizzly Bear. Great harmonies and ambience.  It also makes sense that as I was reading an interview with Jenn Grant once, that she happened to be listening to this group. I can definitely hear similarities between Jenn’s vocals and that of Beach House’s Victoria Legrand.

I love the instrumentation of “Gila.” Great organ, nice guitar riffs and haunting vocals. Actually, the whole song is a little haunting, I think due to the organ.  I wonder what a Gila is….

Like Grizzly Bear, this is ambient and moody stuff. It’s for a time and a place. Autumn and Winter walks perhaps?

For whatever reason, “Some Things Last a Long Time” is appealing to me. Perhaps it’s the distinct tom drum beat, coupled with the repetitive and catchy piano riff that is making it stand out from the last four or five songs. I’m also a sucker for a short song sometimes.

This is a stellar little album and I’m interested to take a listen to their follow-up as it has received even higher critical praise and was released by Sub-Pop.  With that being said, just because Sub pop got its hands on it and because pitchfork said it’s great, doesn’t necessarily make it so. Again my bias is shining through as I would like to send Pitchfork a list of local and Canadian indie groups and show them what they’re missing.

Highlights:  “Wedding Bell”   “Gila


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