Laying on the Beach with Beach House

The album’s cover

Beach House is an American Dream Pop band from Baltimore, Maryland. The band formed in 2004 and has released six studio albums. They’re known for their mellow, cavernous soundscapes, as well as the lead singer’s ethereal vocals. Their breakout album, Bloom, was known for its beautifully layered but simple instrumentals that only consisted of synth, guitar, and drums. This style is continued in one of their latest releases, Depression Cherry. This album, in my opinion, reminds me very much of felt. Just like felt, the album is simple and soft.

Depression Cherry excels in its use of basic drum patterns layered with synth drones and sharp, distorted guitar. This recipe is found in all the songs of the album and creates a feeling of depth and simplicity. One of the best songs of the album is “Space Song.” It is the third track on the album and it is a perfect example of Beach House’s winning recipe. Starting from the intro, is a weeping, reverb-drenched guitar that fits just right with the simple 808 drum track sample. Beneath the weeping guitar is this church synth keyboard that drones along with the rhythm of the melody. The bass line is also a classic example of the band’s devotion to simplicity with its constant and attacking rhythm. As the vocals come in, the guitar and synth are replaced by an arpeggiated keyboard and a sharp synth lead that rests nicely underneath the vocalist’s lyrics. The layering of the track leaves room in between instruments which helps create the mellow and spaced-out vibe of the tune.

Another great song to discuss would be “Levitation,” the first track on the album. This tune does a great job introducing the album with its slowly crescendoing electronic string section that drones into the beginning of the vocals. The vocals in this song also feature some harmonies that create a spiritual and deep tone that is unique from the rest of the album. The guitar on this track has a fuzzy distortion that is a perfect contrast to the vocalist’s clean and sedated sound. The melody of the song also features a thick and layered instrumental that brings it to life. It does a great job of highlighting the melody and making emotion out of it. Overall, “Levitation” is a great introduction into Depression Cherry‘s sound concepts.

Beach House performing live

The song “PPP” is great to talk about as well because of its unique vintage guitar intro. It definitely shows some surf rock influence. The narration on top of the guitar adds a mystique to the whole song. The melody is simply beautiful and rocks back and forth with you with its flowing vocals and guitar work. The drums help with the seesaw feeling with its simple ride and snare beat. The whole song has this drawling forward motion that makes any listener bob their head. The synths, like in all of the songs of the album, drone along with the guitar and add more layers to the song. The track ends with the same guitar sound from the intro, along with more of the vocalist’s trademark sedated and mellow vocal work.

In all, Depression Cherry is a great album that features a beautiful mellow and relaxing sound. All of its tracks are incredibly memorable and some tracks like “PPP” and “Space Song” are great tracks that grab your attention very easily. Overall, I give the album a 9/10!