Beach House

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Beach House
Beach House Roundhouse 2012.jpg
Live at the Roundhouse, London
Background information
Origin Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Genres Dream pop, indie rock
Years active 2004–present
Labels Carpark, Bella Union, Sub Pop, We Are Free, Arts & Crafts México
Website www.beachhousebaltimore.com
Members Victoria Legrand
Alex Scally

Beach House is a dream pop duo from Baltimore, Maryland, formed in 2004. The band consists of French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally.[1] Their self-titled debut album was released in 2006 to critical acclaim and has been followed by Devotion in 2008, Teen Dream in 2010, and Bloom in 2012.

History[edit]

Formation and Beach House[edit]

Vocalist and organist Victoria Legrand, who graduated from Vassar College in 2003, and guitarist Alex Scally formed the band in 2004 after meeting in Baltimore's indie rock scene, producing music composed largely of organ, programmed drums, and slide guitar.[2] Of the origins of the band name, Scally said: "We’d been writing music, and we had all these songs, and then there was that moment where you say ‘what do we call ourselves?’ We tried to intellectualize it, and it didn’t work. There were different plant-names, Wisteria, that kind of thing. Stupid stuff. But, once we stopped trying, it just came out, it just happened. And it just seemed perfect."[3] In an interview Pitchfork Media, Legrand addressed their two member status; "[I]t's a way to challenge ourselves: What do you do when it's just the two of you... [O]ne of the reasons this has been such a fulfilling experience for me is that with two people, it's so much easier to achieve things that feel exciting and new."[1]

The song "Apple Orchard" was featured on a Pitchfork Media MP3 mixtape in August 2006. In October 2006 the band's self-titled debut album, Beach House, was released through Carpark Records. That year, Pitchfork Media ranked it 16th on its Best Albums list.[4]

Devotion and other projects[edit]

Beach House's second album, Devotion, was released on February 26, 2008. It was received with similar acclaim and was included in Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2008 list.[5] On October 21, 2008, the group released the single "Used to Be".

Beach House also recorded a cover of Queen's "Play the Game" for the iTunes Store release of the Red Hot Organization's 2009 compilation, Dark Was The Night.

In 2009, Legrand provided backing vocals on the song "Two Weeks" by the indie rock band Grizzly Bear. She later collaborated with the band again by providing vocals to "Slow Life", the band's contribution to the soundtrack for the film Twilight: New Moon.

In October 2010, the band contributed a charity t-shirt for the Yellow Bird Project to raise money for the House of Ruth women's shelter in Maryland, US for victims of domestic violence.[6]

Teen Dream[edit]

Teen Dream, the duo's "dynamic and intense"[7] third album, was released on Sub Pop on January 26, 2010.[8] The album was released in the UK by Bella Union and in Mexico by Arts & Crafts. It contains a newer version of their 2008 single "Used to Be". "Norway" was made available as a free download on the band's website on November 17, 2009;[9] and promoted on iTunes as the Free Single of the Week starting January 12, 2010. The album was produced and engineered by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear).[10] The album's unanimously good reviews have gained the band a much larger fan base, with Jay-Z and Beyoncé being spotted at the band's shows.[11]

Teen Dream was listed as No. 5 on Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2010:

Teen Dream did little to alter Beach House's core characteristics-- slow-motion beats layered with hazy keyboard drones, rippling guitar figures, and Victoria Legrand's melancholic melodies-- but greatly amplified them to the point of redefining the band's essence, from that of introverted knee-gazers into an assured, emotionally assertive force.--Stuart Berman[12]

Of the success of album and it being dubbed the group's "breakout" record by numerous publications, Legrand stated: "I see this as just another step in a direction. I would not want to say that 2010 will be our year, necessarily, I hope it’s just another year in which we do good work. I don’t want to be defined by this year, I want it to just be a beginning."[13]

Bloom[edit]

Beach House, 05-13-2012, The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC

On March 7, 2012 the band streamed a new song, "Myth", from their website. The album Bloom was released on May 15, 2012 via Sub Pop. A second song from the album, "Lazuli", was released on April 13, 2012.[14] Beach House was featured on the cover of Issue #80 of the Fader.[15] A music video for "Lazuli" was released on June 6, 2012.[16] It was directed by Allen Cordell, who also directed the video for "Walk in the Park" from Teen Dream. A music video for the track "Wild" has also been released. A music video for "Wishes" directed by Eric Wareheim and starring Ray Wise was released on March 7, 2013.[17]

The band released a short film, Forever Still, on February 4, 2013.[18] The film, directed by the band and Max Goldman, was inspired by Pink Floyd's Live at Pompeii and features the band performing songs from Bloom at various sites around Tornillo, Texas, where the album was recorded.[19] The idea for the film came from the band's desire to make quality promotional content they could control artistically: "We had previously been involved in too many live sessions, radio tapings, photo shoots, etc., where the outcome was far below our personal artistic standards. We also felt a need to distance ourselves from the 'content' culture of the internet that rewards quantity over quality and shock over nuance."[20]

Band members[edit]

Beach House
  • Victoria Legrand – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Alex Scally – guitar, bass pedals, keyboards, backing vocals
Touring musician
  • Daniel Franz – drums, percussion

Musical style and influences[edit]

Singer Victoria Legrand's vocals have often been compared to those of Nico.[21] Some music outlets have also compared Legrand's vocals to 1980s psychedelic rock vocalist Kendra Smith of the band Opal. Guitarist Alex Scally plays a Fender Stratocaster guitar in an E♭ Tuning.[citation needed] The group's influences include This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, The Zombies, Brian Wilson, Françoise Hardy, Neil Young, Big Star, Tony, Caro and John and Chris Bell.[citation needed]

Beach House re-recorded the Tony, Caro and John song "Snowdon Song" and renamed it "Lovelier Girl". The song was released on the band's self-titled album with no attribution. Initially, Tony Dore of Tony, Caro and John stated, "I haven't seen much yet in terms of royalties or acknowledgement of authorship". Several months later, however, Dore disclosed that discussions had taken place to apply proper attribution on re-releases of the self-titled album.[22]

Discography[edit]

Sample of the song "Apple Orchard" from the Beach House album Beach House.

Problems playing this file? See media help.
Sample of the song "Zebra" from the Beach House album Teen Dream.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Albums[edit]

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Apple Orchard" (2006)
  • "Master of None" (2006)
  • "Heart of Chambers" (2008)[23]
  • "Gila" (2008)
  • "You Came to Me" (2008)
  • "Used to Be" (Carpark Records, 2009)
  • "Norway" (Bella Union, 2010)
  • "Zebra EP" (Sub Pop Records, 2010)
  • iTunes Session (Sub Pop Records, 2010)
  • "I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun" (2010)
  • "Myth" (2012)
  • "Lazuli" (Sub Pop Records, 2012)
  • "Wild" (2012)
  • "Wishes" (2013)

Live performances[edit]

The band has toured extensively worldwide. Of touring, Legrand stated: "[W]e love touring. That's when you get to get into a rhythm, playing every night. It can be really fun. And I think you learn where you want to go with your music."[13]

In March 2009, the band was featured at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.[24] In April 2010, the band performed at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. In June 2010, the band surmounted "technical difficulties due to too much MDMA" while playing a set on The Park Stage at Glastonbury.[25] In August 2010, the band joined Vampire Weekend on tour as one of their two opening acts, the other being the Dum Dum Girls. In October 2010, Beach House played at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. On December 20, 2010 the band performed on Conan.

The band was chosen by Animal Collective to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival they curated in May 2011,[26] and also by Portishead to perform at the ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival that they curated in July 2011 at London's Alexandra Palace.[27] On May 29, 2011 the band played at the Sasquatch! Music Festival. On July 31, 2011 the band played at the Fuji Rock music festival in Niigata, Japan. On October 16, 2011, the band played at the Treasure Island Music Festival. On May 18, 2012, they appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and on Sunday July 15, 2012, they performed the closing set on the Red Stage during the Pitchfork Music Festival.

In May 2012, the band appeared on Later... with Jools Holland[28] playing "Myth" and "Lazuli" from their 2012 album, Bloom. On July 26, 2012 they performed the Bloom cuts "Wild" and "Wishes" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Anthony Carew (2012). "Beach House - Artist Profile". About.com. About.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Diehl, Matt. "Hot Band: Beach House". Spin.com. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Carew, Anthony. "Interview: Alex Scally of Beach House". About.com. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2006". Pitchfork Media. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2008". Pitchfork Media. 19 December 2008. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  6. ^ +Mic Teluxe (8 October 2010). "Friday Fun:: Yellow Bird Project & Beach House". Herohill. Herohill. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Music Feature: Beach House". Totally Dublin. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Phillips, Amy. "Beach House – announce new album". Pitchfork.com. Archived from the original on 23 October 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Beach House. "Beach House's Norway – Free Download". Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Pitchfork, Beach House Announce New Album, 20 October 2009. Accessed 25 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Jay Z & Beyonce @ Coachella watching Beach House perform". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2010". Pitchfork Media. 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Carew, Anthony. "Interview: Victoria Legrand of Beach House". About.com. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  14. ^ http://pitchfork.com/news/46133-new-beach-house-lazuli/
  15. ^ http://www.thefader.com/2012/06/14/world-premiere-the-fader-80-featuring-beach-house-and-2-chainz/
  16. ^ http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2012/06/watch-beach-houses-video-or-lazuli.html
  17. ^ http://www.spin.com/articles/beach-house-wishes-video-eric-wareheim-ray-wise
  18. ^ "Watch the Beach House Short Film "Forever Still"". Pitchfork Media. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Video: Beach House - Forever Still short film". Gorilla vs Bear. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  20. ^ S., Sam (8 February 2013). "Beach House Forever Still". Sub Pop. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Wilson, Mackenzie. "Beach House – Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 18 October 2009. 
  22. ^ Altered Zones, Tony, Caro and John: The Snowdon Song, 5 November 2010. Accessed 2 July 2012.
  23. ^ Beach House. "Heart of Chambers". Music Video. Youtube. Archived from the original on 29 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  24. ^ SXSW. "Beach House". "Used to Be". Youtube. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  25. ^ Kristian Yeomans/NME (26 June 2010). "Beach House battle through Glastonbury technical difficulties due to 'too much MDMA'". NME. IPC Media Entertainment Network. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  26. ^ "ATP Curated by Animal Collective". All Tomorrow's Parties. ATPFestivals. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  27. ^ "I'll Be Your Mirror London Curated by Portishead and ATP". All Tomorrow's Parties. ATPFestivals. 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  28. ^ "Beach House". BBC — Music. BBC. 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 

External links[edit]