Feeling lonely tonight? Turn off the TV and lower the lights. Baltimore duo Beach House have returned with their sophomore full length entitled Devotion. Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have written eleven delicate pop tunes about love, feeling, and, of course, devotion. Their new album is a surefire antidote to the winter blues.
Beach House have developed their craft exponentially since their 2006 self-titled debut. The recording is crisper; the songs are fuller. This is a band that is taking the pop duo format to the limit.
The organs, slide guitars and reverb are still there, but Beach House lay out some new sounds for their newest offering. While on their debut critics made comparisons to early 90s dream popsters like Mazzy Star, Galaxie 500 and Slowdive, on Devotion listeners will also hear the band's longtime admiration for 60s Motown and country folk.
Nothing much happens on the second album from this Baltimore, Maryland duo, but it all unfolds so beautifully you would be hard-pressed to complain. Using slow-motion rhythms, ghostly vocals and dreamy carnival organs in its attempt to pull together a set of vaporous melodies, the band comes up with a spellbinding collection of songs that in its best moments recalls the hazy wonder of dream-pop predecessors the Velvet Underground and Mazzy Star. Singer Victoria Legrand is the niece of famed soundtrack composer Michel, which could explain why so many of the songs--especially standouts like "D.A.R.L.I.N.G." and "Heart of Chambers"--have such a convincingly cinematic feel. Hopefully, the producers at HBO are listening. --Aidin Vaziri