Stereogum x Amazon MP3 Friendly Deals #6: Beach House’s Devotion

Every week, lets us select one album from its MP3 store to go on super sale (up to 75% off normal prices). At Amazon’s request, going forward we’re going to feature recent releases instead of old albums you probably already own. Hopefully you’ll be able to add these newer must-own LPs to your library without breaking your budget. Today’s deal: Beach House’s Devotion.

Devotion is the perfect name for Beach House’s sophomore album: The collection has a reverence and dreamy flow that never drifts too much its volume or tone, maintaining a constant soundtrack for your next seance. It’s a tapestry of hushed melodies and nighttime instrumentation; severing a bit of that takes away from the cumulative effect. For such an understated record, it’s actually a huge accomplishment: On it, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand grew up as songwriters, turning in a collection that we might not have thought possible based on their 2006 self-titled debut. It was good, but not like this.

As we said in our evaluation of the collection:

When we first saw Beach House at CMJ ’06, the late-night Cake Shop reminded us of a hunting lodge, tiny falling stars just outside the roof. The two transformed the place. We were obviously fans of the band’s eponymous debut, but Devotion’s better, and at first, frankly, we were suprised. The Baltimore twosome have upped their game exponentially: Like at this point, they’d rip the roof of the place, make the stars come to us. To put it less dramatically, you can’t fall back on Mazzy Star or Galaxie 500 references because they’ve pushed themselves into their own, unique solar system. Victoria’s voice and woozy after-hours organ tones are more assured, Alex has lost the beard but gained more inventive, atmospheric guitar lines. For just one instance, listen to “You Came To Me,” the way each part of it builds. We don’t think they could’ve wrote that song a year ago. Throughout Devotion, they’ve pushed their template in all the right directions. They haven’t changed … it’s more that they’ve deepened.

It’s been almost a year since we wrote that (time flies) and these 11 songs have only grown more fathomless. See for yourself, if you haven’t already: For the next week, you can pick it up at Amazon MP3 for $3.99.

Help us make great albums available at low prices by suggesting future Friendly Deal selections in the comments. Remember, they don’t need to be literally “classic.” Right now we’re thinking more contemporary.