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Beach House
- Bloom

"It’s all quite insular, which is par for the course, but where Beach House excels and others of their ilk falter is the ability to transcend mere innocuous vapidity and lack of focus, and instead proffer a sound that is cleverly and meticulously structured, clearly infused with their unique DNA."

May 15th 2012 | Label: Mistletone
Baltimore's Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally – aka Beach House – rode the Pitchfork-stoked zeitgeist of dream-pop affiliated acts, their 2010 LP Teen Dream catapulting them onto many a main stage around the world and onto most end-of-year 'best of' lists. Their brand of tempered melancholia struck a chord, offering a somnambulant symphony of gauzy bombast and synth-driven grandiosity.

Bloom is Beach House's fourth foray, and not much has changed in their general aesthetic, evident from the opening synth lines of Myth, a track that drifts along yet hides a beautifully deceptive hook. Wild plays with the Beach House conventions, with an electronic scattering of beats and drones segueing into a '60s sunny bliss bomb, all tambourine, hushed drums and broad brushstrokes. Album highlight Lazuli offers the best example of what the band is capable of – with the synth and guitar lines travelling beside each other before coalescing in a double helix of sound perfectly augmented by Legrand's ethereal voice. That said, Bloom suffers from the mid-record lull, and it takes the mesmeric Wishes and stripped-back On The Sea to steer the duo back on track – if such a notion can be applied.

It's all quite insular, which is par for the course, but where Beach House excels and others of their ilk falter is the ability to transcend mere innocuous vapidity and lack of focus, and instead proffer a sound that is cleverly and meticulously structured, clearly infused with their unique DNA. Bloom, then, isn't much different than the band's oeuvre, yet it is the intricate tweaks that enamour.

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