Beach House - Devotion

This past Thursday night, the moons sadly did not line up for Aether Everywhere. Tanner and I once again ran into some, um, studio access issues, and those of you who were listening may have noticed some not-so-psychedelic, not-so-Japanese music emerging from your speakers. So no, that was not us playing Salad Days, Marie and Marie’s bowling buddies. Shudder.

You’re obviously not getting your download and trippy picture (well, at least not one with “ae 4” plastered across it) this time around, so deal with it. You’ll just have to wait one more week for us to unleash the Asian facemelters on your (sweet, sweet) asses.

As you may (or more likely may not) have noticed, I never got around to posting a year-end list for my favorite albums of 2007. It’d be easy enough for me to blame Paul Sorvino for this, but she’s already been my scapegoat for too many things this past month. Instead, I blame Jenny. (I learned it from watching you, OK?) But just in case you’re wondering, my favorite album was The National’s Boxer, and my favorite song was Dan Deacon’s “Wham City.”

In lieu of a list, I’d like to share my excitement for a release scheduled to come out next month. Chances are, if you’re reading this post you’re at least mildly familiar with Beach House’s self-titled album from a couple of years ago. For those of you who sleep with a vinyl copy under yer pilla , or who were one of the five or so who got swallowed whole in Higher Ground last year, I have good news: Their new album, Devotion, is frickin’ fantastic.

The duo somehow manages to go exactly where I’d hoped they would. They retain the dreamy intimacy (read: sparse arrangements drenched in reverb) of the s/t, but build on its strengths by pushing happy buttons much more often. You know how they’d unleash those brief, sudden crescendos in a few of the songs, with Victoria Legrand and her droning organ emerging from their cocoon (i.e. “I’ll wait for you, I’ll wait for…” in “Auburn and Ivory”)? We’re treated to at least one of those moments on almost every track. The song structures are also more complex, with some interesting instrumental flourishes (shakers, etc.) rounding out the sound, but again, without forsaking their narcotic M.O. Noticeable, too, is Victoria’s more powerful delivery, which should put to rest the stupid and unfounded notion that she’s merely a Nico wannabe.

All in all, if you’re into hazy, perfect melodies, get excited. The album’s out on February 26th, and here’s a download of its first single, “Gila.” (Update: Posted! -tanner.)



jay said...

"Devotion" is a great album. Even though the self-titled is still perfection for me, this was an incredibly song sophomore effort. Can't wait to get this one on wax :)

Tanner M. said...

i agree... i dig it the more i keep listening to it. "Gila" is a great example of Victoria's growing confidence.