Beach House is a Baltimore dream pop duo made of Victoria Legrand (vocals, keyboard) and Alex Scally (guitar, keyboard).
On October 16, Beach House released their second full length album of the year entitled Thank Your Lucky Stars. This album was released as a surprise follow up to their earlier album from August, Depression Cherry.
The release of Thank Yours so soon after Depression Cherry left many fans feeling conflicted, where it was almost too much of a good thing. Although the timing makes it difficult, and all of Thank Yours was completed even before the drop of Depression Cherry, these records were intended to be heard apart from one another.
Beach House has been noted for their consistently slow, syrupy pop songs that are lovely, hazy and completely drenched in reverb, particularly in their albums Teen Dream and Bloom.
Although Thank Yours is distinctly Beach House, in many ways it does not feel complete. Since they released it so closely to their last album, Thank Yours almost ends up feeling like an afterthought. Not only in concept, because of the tight release dates, but also because the songs themselves are forlorn and feel fragmented.
There aren’t any particular stand out tracks on this album where Beach House shows off their experimentation of multitudes of instrumentation like they did on Teen Dream, or any heart wrenching power ballads like on their album Bloom.
Thank Yours did see a split from their typical reverb usage but the keyboard is relatively dry, the machine drum beats are simplistic, and the overall feel of the music is rather incomplete. One noteworthy thing this album did see was twangy, bolder guitar leads, which made this record feel closer to indie rock in some places than it did American dream pop.
The problems with this album may have very well been avoided had Beach House waited longer after Depression Cherry to release Thank Your Lucky Stars, because then the similarities would not seem so striking.
That being said, the album does pick up towards the end with tracks like “Common Girl” and “Elegy to the Void.” These songs have lyrics that are the most driven, significant aspects of each track. These songs are characteristically darker and more melancholy in lyrics and in tone than anything Beach House has previously released and they are captivating for that reason alone.
In 2012 Beach House refused to license their song “Take Care” for commercial usage for Volkswagen. The ad agency reacted by having a different band simply mimic Beach House’s sound. Part of the reason Depression Cherry felt so skeletal for Beach House was a reaction against their sound having been copied. Some of this experimentation with different sounds on Thank Yours, like heavier guitar leads, is carry over from the backlash.
Beach House isn’t changing their sound or dropping dream pop, they are solely looking for new ways to push the limits of their same vision, and Thank Your Lucky Stars is an extension of that.