Beach House: B Sides & Rarities Review

By Allison Belcher
Assistant Music Director

Artist: Beach House
Album: B-Sides and Rarities
Label: Sub Pop
Release Date: June 30, 2017

After releasing reviews for Beach House’s Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars LPs back in 2015, it only felt absolutely necessary that I do the same for their 2017 B-Sides and Rarities album. Vocalist and organist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally clearly felt a surge of musical inspiration in the fall of 2015, releasing two full length albums nearly three months apart. This is even more apparent with the release of B-Sides and Rarities – an album that is composed of outtakes from their last two albums, remixes from Teen Dream, and recordings from iTunes sessions. While the album is simply a collection of excess songs, it still provides a listening experience as blended and smooth as a constructed full length album. The album kicks off with ‘Chariot’, a sunny yet luxuriously gloomy song ringing with lyrics storytelling of “A sunny day in their chariot” – a song that speaks volumes on Beach House’s angelic and celestial musical state. ‘Equal Mind’ (track 3) and ‘White Moon’ (track 1) transports the listener back to Legrand’s Teen Dream and Bloom days, shimmering with optimism and dreamy lucidity. B-Sides and Rarities is another friendly reminder to listeners that Legrand’s voice is simply another instrument – blending in perfectly with soft synths, melancholic guitar strums, and velvety organ rhythms.

While many of the songs on the album were already once leaked through mp3 files and unauthorized YouTube uploads, the placement of the songs and the timing of the album release gives even heavy Beach House listeners a unique experience. B-Sides and Rarities is a friendly reminder of what Legrand and Scally are capable of – the ability to transport fans and listeners to another realm – which is a rarity within itself.

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