Their Deepest and Darkest Yet
Named from simply being their 7th studio album, Beach House’s latest release, 7, is another superbly-written round of lengthy tracks. With the addition of Peter Kember of Sonic Boom’s co-production with Baltimore duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, the resulting 7 is heavier and slightly more balanced — the drums come forward a bit more, the vocals step back and the music just shines.
The release of the album was teased at first by “Lemon Glow,” a driving song with electronic beating “waves” fuzzy synths and a booming bass with a chorus line that’s sure to get stuck in one’s head. The next release was the opening track, “Dark Spring,” which features a full synth sound, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine’s, and delightful ringing guitar chords that pop up later in the song.
“L’Inconnue” is an entirely religious experience as singer Victoria Legrand’s vocals bounce off each other to a background resembling an organ. She alternates between English and French lyrics as the machine-like hi-hat pierces through, and intense periods of drumming are added before the song fades away. “Drunk In LA” is unmistakably Beach House, as their typical drum pattern emerges and Legrand’s vocals enfold into a lush, cascading melody. The lyrics are open and vulnerable, “…Left my heart out somewhere running / Wanting strangers to be mine / Memory’s a sacred meat / That’s drying all the time / On a hillside I remember / I am loving losing life.” “Dive” features barely-there drums and a call and response vocal from Legrand, opening into a rhythmic outro and completing with a heavy guitar lick left on repeat.
“Black Car” starts unexpectedly with a marimba-esque pattering sound with layers of synths and beats building upon it. The resulting song is dark and meditative, and the beat adds an element that just makes the listener want to move along to it. The song builds expertly with an ever-intriguing multi-themed vocal part, making the song a true standout on 7. But “Last Ride” is the most epic song on the album, clocking in at exactly seven minutes. Once again, the song starts with a soft piano theme this time, adding layers upon layers. The melody is simple, and the sound intensifies with the addition of a screeching guitar, and later the addition of the drums. The theme essentially repeats, quickening at just over the halfway mark before the vocals complete on a whisper, “It’s just a whisper” and the sound comes to a ring before closing the album.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Legrand shared about the creation of 7 and their music in general, “It’s always from a belief in a universal feeling, and what feels right in the moment, because being connected to the ground is key.” 7 certainly draws from feelings of darkness with layers of hope, love and spirituality, resulting in their deepest most vulnerable album yet.