Beach House choose names carefully. Indeed, this third album is as dreamy as its name implies, wrapping blissful-yet-dark, Cocteau Twins-esque tunes around Victoria Legrand’s exquisite vocals, which combine Cat Power’s quirky grit with Billie Holiday’s depth. But names can be deceiving. ‘Walk in the Park’ could be put to use for that titular purpose – perhaps on the way to your beach house, eh? – but is so much more than a breezy one-off. Legrand’s vocals scale to the top of her register, while her pounding keyboard rhythms add a fierce backbone.
The record glows from front to back, a testament to sparkling production from Chris Coady that brings the band’s bountiful sound to the fore in ways that even 2008’s Devotion couldn’t. What’s more, Legrand and co-writer Alex Scally have written tunes that will add bite to their live shows, which have been a bit drowsy in the past. The electro-based ‘10 Mile Stereo’ almost spirals out of control before fulminating into pulsating beats reminiscent of those in Portishead’s recent dagger, ‘The Rip’. No mere walk in the park, the track should get the kids dancing for Beach House.
Colin St. John
Available now online.