Beach House’s autumnal, Baltimore dream-pop wooed and wowed at CMJ ’06, delivering a spellbinding set at Cake Shop that landed in our top five for the year, setting the stage for this year’s small-scale victory lap — performing festivals and tinier rooms and keeping the BPM on that low-grade drum machine at a very, slow, clip.
So, follow-up time. As engrossing as Beach House could be, Victoria and Alex weren’t pushing far beyond the Mazzy, the shooting-star slide guitars, the woozily reverbed House halls. “Gila” comes as the first bow from Devotion, the band’s forthcoming, second outing, picking up right where they left off — “Saltwater”/”Tokyo Witch” drum machine click-off, nocturnal organ swoons, Victoria’s distant intoning. But “Gila” builds, and it’s not just rehashed hash-pipes, here; where Beach House was willfully scraggly, now it’s the same affecting sound but richer, thanks mostly to a slow wall of Legrand harmonies. Nice stuff.
Beach House – “Gila” (MP3)
Devotion is out 2/26/08 on Carpark.
[Pic from Pitchfork Music Festival 2007]