For the last two months or so, I have found myself entrapped in an undertow brought on by the whirling, haunting and dreamy sounds of Beach House. (While they are by no means a recently discovered band, it seems as if a full appreciation for their artistry had not made its full circle around my mind until a certain Sheep that I can always count on, found a home for one of their new tracks on a fabulously constructed mix.) It has become a familiar process as of late; no matter the time of day, I find myself finding time to put the real world on pause, reach for whatever sound producing device may be near by and select any song by the aforementioned Beach House. The result is an instant lull, followed by a sheepish smile, a deep cleansing breath and staring contest between my eyes and the sky or the space between my current state of mind and the baggage that has fallen, so effortlessly, from my conscious. Eventually, I am overcome with the desire to make some sort of contact with the outside world and let them know just ‘how much I love this band.’ (Fortunately, the Sheep has unlimited texting and, um, patience.)
You’d think this was some sort of religious experience, or perhaps one involving illicit drugs but neither of the above are true, really. What it is for me is simple. It’s Beach House‘s ability to elevate the simplicity of sound to such heights – where the air is too thin to breathe, forcing the overcharged and underpaid synapses in my brain to finally come to a rest and allow my subconscious to get lost for a while. Perhaps, Rebecca Solnit, author of “A Field Guide to Getting Lost,” said it best: “To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away.” And that is what Beach House does for me. Their sound, so perfectly layered – like a big fucking ice cream cake – completely melts the taste buds of my mind, drops the temperature within my soul to somewhere deep below the point of zero and then transports me, stumbling gracefully through every note and hollow word, to a place where I am lost, yet comfortable with the idea of it all.
In an endless night,
could you feel the fright of an age that was and could never be?
So we hold it close when we feel the most
like a love that we could not leave behind
Turn the wheel to each way we feel until
I’m lost and I cannot find you there
Don’t forget the nights when it all felt right,
are you not the same as you used to be?
For the most part, my last two months have been spent procrastinating papers, cramming for exams, celebrating holidays, spending time with friends, learning how to speak Canadian and um, oh – that’s right – reevaluating the plans that I’ve been counting on and peeking through my hands as I fear for their unravelling. So, yeah, that might have something to do with needing an escape, but that does not take away from how amazing this band actually is at what it does.
Have I gone too far? Personally, I don’t think so. A band has not had the power to make me feel this way in a very long time. I believe that when one is lucky enough to have something affect them so strongly, it is important to realize how rare of an occurrence it truly is and to appreciate it, open up to it and allow it the space that it needs to consume, fulfill and eventually repair you.
With that being said, Beach House‘s third full length album, Teen Dream (head over to NPR for a free preview), hits stores today, 1/26/09. I believe I can speak for both myself and our little wooly friend when I say that it is an album that needs to be heard, even if only once, you owe it to your soul. My superfreaky friend was cool enough post a great entry about the Teen Dream vinyl, including pictures – you should check it out.
Maybe this was not much of an album review but sometimes, some things are better left unexplained, especially when the opportunity exists to experience them. Take a deep breath, let your mind go and enjoy.
I’ve been stuck in a Teen Dream and I never want to wake up. Thank you, Ms. Legrand and Mr. Scally for creating such ‘sad shit.‘