Song of the Week 12: Beach House – Zebra

Bonjourno,

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I don´t know a whole lot about Beach House. They`re a classically trained twosome from Baltimore, French born Victoria Legrand (singer, keyboards), the niece of composer Michael Legrand, and Alex Scally (guitarist, keyboardist), formed in 2004. They´ve been labeled as Dream Pop, Baroque Pop (more the first album) and Shoe Gaze, Indie Rock. They remind me a little of Mazzy Star at times, but overall they sound much more warm, not as sparse. Their influences range from The Zombies, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Grizzly Bear, Big Star, which is all good stuff in my book, but I wouldn´t say they sound like any of those folks.

On the Dream Pop tag Alex Scally says: “I love pop music, and I guess the music that we make is admittedly ethereal in some way. It’s just the tones and the soundscapes we like.”

A few years ago, I was returning home from football in Celbridge, driving by the canal, and I heard a very ethereal, almost creepy sounding song called Auburn & Ivory on Radio na Gaeilge. That song is from their first album, which is very good. I heard somewhere that there were only 500 vinyl copies of it pressed originally, but I can´t find the source right now. I stuck that tune on a couple of compilations at the time. Apple Orchard is a quality song off that album too. I didn´t hear much more about them then, and then last year I went looking for their new album. From the first listen it really caught my attention. Definitely one of my favourite albums in the last while. It´s called Teen Dream.

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The song Zebra is the opening track on that album, and one of my favourites. The album topped some of the album of the year lists from 2010 and since then they´ve released another one called Bloom (2012).

Not much more to say about these guys. I´ll let the music do the talking…

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