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Beach House: Depression Cherry

todaySeptember 24, 2015

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Reviewed by Allison Belcher

Beach House: Depression Cherry
Beach House: Depression Cherry

Artist: Beach House
Album: Depression Cherry
Label: Sub Pop
Release Date: August 28, 2015

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House are back at it once again,  this time with their fifth release full-length album titled Depression Cherry. The dream-pop duo of Baltimore, Maryland have grown significantly since they first became a part of Sub Pop Records in 2006. Known for their dreamy tones and euphoric sounding instrumentals, the dream team has continued to produce beautiful music with those key features. Legrand and Scally have made some minor changes to their sound in “Depression Cherry”, but it still works wonders on the ears.

A heavier use of synthesizer and guitar has positively contributed to making Depression Cherry, one of Beach House’s most relaxing and ethereal albums yet. Drum use on Depression Cherry has been stripped back, making the music appear more lucid and trance-like sounding than before. (Yes, apparently that is possible.) Legrand has always had a special way of making her voice become a part of the instrumentals, blending in with the synths and keyboard rather than standing out from them. The name of the album is rather peculiar in comparison to their other albums Bloom, Teen Dream, and Devotion, but by golly it works. When listening to the album for the first time, I thought, “Gosh, the name sure is fitting. This is almost like a breakup album – chilling and deep.” I wasn’t sure what to think, especially being such a die hard fan of Bloom and Teen Dream.

As cliche as it sounds though, Depression Cherry really did grow on me. While there definitely aren’t as many faster paced and vibrant songs as there were on Teen Dream such as “Take Care” and “Used to be,” their newest album works you in a way that makes you think, “Hey, I actually kind of extremely accept this.” When you’re in that solemn mood at three in the morning thinking about outer space or that dream you had two nights ago, this is the album to go to. “Trance is a big part of our thing,” Scally said in a past Pitchfork interview. This statement is made true by the album’s third track “Space Song”. The strong synth use, constant drum beat, and choppy, distant sounding vocals further enhance what Beach House is known for – which is creating dreamy and euphoric sounding music. Depression Cherry’s featured track “Sparks” gives listeners what they are used to from Beach House – a more uplifting and engrossing track, easily comparable to their hits “Norway” and “Zebra”. The electric guitar use in this track, which is not as apparent in the other tracks, sets this song apart – which is probably why it has gained the most popularity amongst Beach House enthusiasts.

As a lover of all things Beach House related, I endorse this album, and fully encourage the listen. Light some incense, gaze up at the plastic stars on the ceiling of your tiny apartment, and engulf yourself in a relaxing and outer-worldly musical experience.

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