Beach House – Once Twice Melody
By Michael Bamarni | Top Tracks: Superstar, ESP, & Hurts To Love
Beach House have always been a band I couldn’t get into. For one, their music is by no means energetic or catchy in the traditional sense, and two, they tend to stick a bit too much to a compositional formula (at least to my naive and untrained ear). So, while I always appreciated the beautiful and dreamy sonics of songs like “Space Song” and “Silver Soul”, I never had the energy or desire to listen to a full Beach House LP.
That was until Once Twice Melody, the brand-new Beach House record, was released in its entirety last month. My decision to give this album a real chance came down to two factors – 1. Music tastes change, and mine has expanded tremendously in recent years and 2. Their unique album rollout of releasing the majority of songs before release day really caught my attention.
However, instead of making this entire review an essay on my personal journey into this house on the beach, I will now solely be focusing on their music and why their music is outstanding.
The album starts off with the title track which showcases profoundly hypnotic vocals from lead singer Victoria Legrand. There are instances on this record where I genuinely feel like Victoria is a mythical, musical hypnotist. Great examples of these vocal hypnotisms occur on album highlights “Superstar”, “ESP”, and “Hurts to Love”.
Instrumentally there are great moments as well, such as on the hip-hop influenced “Pink Funeral” – which could one day appear as a nice sample for a Kendrick Lamar track (à la “Silver Soul”). There is also the epic one-two punch in the third chapter (this double album is sonically split into four chapters based off the four sides of the two-vinyl release) of “Masquerade” followed by “Illusion of Forever”. These songs are so instrumentally lush that I lose my entire sense of self in its sonics.
Perhaps the greatest gift that Beach House provides to the world is their innate ability to create songs of escapism. There is a meticulous attention to detail in every song that allows the listener to feel like they’re always being attended to, while never feeling overwhelmed. They are the perfect hosts for a Beach House in that respect.
Overall, this album is not perfect, but it is most definitely phenomenal. In my humble opinion no song on Once Twice Melody is downright unpleasant, but there are a few tracks that are bit more forgettable than the others.
Thanks to the magnificent instrumentals and melodies on Melody I bestow this album an exquisite –