Music Review: Beach House – Bloom

Genres are horrible things that make defining a band feel dirty. Unless you use a very broad term, you either end up looking like a pretentious bastard that gets angry at people misrepresenting bands as the wrong sub-genre, or like an idiot because you actually did use the wrong sub-genre. I mention this because I am constantly in fear of how I should describe Beach House. Are they dream pop? Are they shoegaze? Are they indie rock? After listening to Bloom, their newest album, I’m no surer than before. Let’s just call it music and move on.

The songs on Bloom do just that. They slowly grow and build until they unfold in a flood of humming pianos and reverb-drenched guitars. It’s less melody focused than on previous Beach House album, more drone based, but when they do appear from the waves, they absolutely shine. The breathy calls of Victoria Legend in ‘Lazuli’ flash out of the static, bored but powerful. Some of the drifting songs, like the surprisingly dreary closer ‘Irene’, don’t build to anything at all, but carry the same weight.

Despite Beach House being known for their lazy, disinterested pieces, I wanted them to keep the pace from ‘Other People’ and ‘The Hours’. They aren’t incredibly lively by any means, but you can feel some energy shift when listening to ‘Other People’. The synthetic, scratchy hi-hat relentlessly bursts throughout, carrying  Legend’s soaring and diving melody. Scally’s guitar in ‘The Hours’ loops around, sliding high and strong, but ‘Troublemaker’ brings the album back down again with an indifferent, slightly haunting piano line. Bloom continues this way, and while it is beautifully apathetic in some places, I couldn’t help but want them to pick up the tempo more.

Rejected Obvious Review Title: Blooming Brilliant.

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