Beach House – Beach House

Beach House
Beach House

This Beach House isn’t a typical bungalow by the shore, baked by sunny climes. The tunes contained within Beach House’s self-titled debut conjure up sandalwood, not driftwood, patchy grass instead of sand, and weeds instead of seaweed. Picture a dilapidated, musty Victorian house with creaky wooden floors and half-waning candles, and an attic filled with dusty old treasures amid the junk, like a keep-sake box filled with curios that aren’t relevant to the modern age, hermetically sealed mementos from a forgotten time period.

Victoria, Beach House’s singer, is like some reedy, rusty-voiced, despondent Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, all woozy and flying on blackbird wings in search of waxberries through overcast autumnal skies.

The songs that provide the foundation for this house are slightly off-kilter in sound and stay that way for the entire album. They are not immediate or modern, but sound vintage, like they’re played through a gramophone. The lo-fi production works fine for this collection of hazy-vibed, downbeat songs, full of minor keys and slow, laconic beats.

Most tracks feature celestial organ sounds, faded, staticky beats, distant, echoed vocals, bell jingle, harpsichord, and mournful guitar lines. There is a definite laid-back, alt-country tinge and 1970s seep to the songs, with Victoria sounding like she breathed in too much of the surrounding incense during the recording of the album. Earlier songs on the album are more meandering, but by the fifth song, the keeper “Auburn + Ivory”, the tunes become more direct, with Victoria sounding menacing and sharp in a Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane kind of way.

Beach House is the perfect accompaniment for an introspective day, or night, of watching the globules of a lava lamp slowly float and sink.