Pop duo Beach House finds time to grow
In bloomby Andrea Warner
There's a big difference between indie pop duo Beach House's Teen Dream and singer Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream." Fans of the former can exhale that long breath they've been holding since 2010: Bloom, Beach House's fourth album (due May 15 on the Sub Pop label), is as magical as it is morose, an atmospheric and evocative wonderland. Fans of the latter — well, enjoy the Perry karaoke.
Since 2004, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have been the somewhat mysterious forces behind Beach House. Rising up out of Baltimore's increasingly relevant DIY arts scene, the pair make music befitting the arch loneliness and beauty of director Wes Anderson's film. If Bloom were a movie, it might be about the terrible ways we learn to live in the moment, the kind of lessons that come from a loss so sudden it unhinges your grip on life and forces you to think about making the most of things — that is, if Legrand was the type to disclose her private life to the press. She's not, but upon hearing some personal reflection about what the record meant to this listener, the notoriously private singer/songwriter admits that recording Bloom was Beach House's biggest challenge yet.
"Each album we've made is a moment in our lives," Legrand says. "Some people have a scrapbook or a journal, and we have these records. I'm 30, and now it's been a long time making music, but Bloom has been one of the more intense experiences of making an album for us. That's probably the most personal information I can give about it."