Victoria Legrand

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Victoria Legrand
Grizzly Bear at JellyNYC's Pool Party (August 30th, 2009) (3877160910).jpg
Legrand performing in 2009
Background information
Born (1981-05-28) May 28, 1981 (age 37)
Paris, France
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Dream pop[1]
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • piano
  • guitar
  • bass
Years active 2004–present
Associated acts Beach House

Victoria Garance Alixe Legrand (born May 28, 1981) is a French-born American musician, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and keyboardist of the dream pop duo Beach House.

Early life[edit]

Legrand was born in Paris, France, but was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was trained on piano as a child, but says she quit studying at age eighteen.[2] She studied drama at Vassar College,[3] while and after graduating, relocated to Paris to study acting at the International Theatre School of Jacques Lecoq.[4] After graduating from Vassar College[3] and becoming "disenchanted with theater school in Paris," she moved back to Philadelphia in 2004.[5]

She is the niece of the French composer Michel Legrand and Christiane Legrand of The Swingle Singers.[6][7] As a teenager, she was part of a Led Zeppelin cover band.[8]

Career[edit]

In 2004, Legrand met Baltimore-native Alex Scally, and they quickly formed a two-piece band.[9] Legrand often mentions how organically they work together, and how, in Scally, she found her "musical soulmate."[10] The two have recorded seven studio albums for Beach House: Beach House (2006), Devotion (2008), Teen Dream (2010), Bloom (2012), Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars (2015), and 7 (2018)

Musicianship[edit]

Vocal style[edit]

Legrand possesses a contralto vocal range.[11] Some music outlets have compared her vocals to those of Nico and Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval.[12]

Songwriting and influences[edit]

Legrand and Scally write music anywhere between eight and 16 hours a day, and strive to create thoughtful music they feel strongly about.[13] Legrand often emphasizes the honesty, thoughtfulness, and authenticity Beach House tries to get across in their music. Legrand laments the references to Beach House as being "wafty, wavy, floaty, dreamy," and insists on the band's loudness and all-encompassing soundscapes they create: "We are a loud band. OK, so it's not abrasive, but it's not soft."[14]

Legrand has said in interviews that she wishes audiences would focus on the craft of their songwriting; She commented, "what you're feeling is the craft, that everything is there with intention," as opposed to the individual sounds that surround "the real meat of it all....There's a lot of great sounds in music, but it's not gonna necessarily make you feel something."[13] She is protective of the identity of the band and cautiously chooses how they expose themselves to their audience.[15]

Musically, she has cited The Cure, the Cocteau Twins, Gene Clark,[14] and Neil Young as influences.

Discography[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Other artist(s) Album Contribution
"Slow Life" 2009 Grizzly Bear The Twilight Saga: New Moon (soundtrack) Featured vocalist
"Two Weeks" Veckatimest Backing vocalist
"Seven Stars" 2011 Air Le voyage dans la lune Lyricist, featured vocalist

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beach House brings dream pop to the Paramount and a secret gallery show". Seattle Times. Seattle, Washington. April 29, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ Zaleski, Annie (April 3, 2009). "Interview: Beach House's Victoria Legrand". Riverfront Times. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Beach House: An Alumna's Band Returns to Campus". Vassar College. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ Carew, Anthony. "Beach House - Artist Profile". About. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ Hockey-Smith, Sam. "Beach House: Tidal Pull". The FADER. No. 80 June/July 2012. Andy Cohn. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ Trucks, Rob (July 17, 2008). "Interview: Victoria Legrand of Beach House". Village Voice. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Michel Legrand". Fnac (in French). Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  8. ^ Howe, Brian (March 4, 2008). "Beach House". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  9. ^ Carew, Anthony (February 4, 2017). "An Interview with Alex Scally of Beach House". Thought Co. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  10. ^ O'Connell, Chris (24 March 2010). "Beach House's Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally are not a couple—so stop asking". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Koenig, Heather. "Music Review: Beach House - Bloom". WTSR 91.3FM. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Beach House - Beach House | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Roth, Chloe (27 September 2012). "Beach House's Victoria Legrand Says Justin Bieber's Music Makes Her "Need To Take a Shit"". SF Weekly. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Rowe, Sian (19 May 2012). "Beach House and the curse of the big time". The Guardian. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  15. ^ Gallagher, Natalie (October 8, 2012). "Beach House's Victoria Legrand on memory, female empowerment, and social media". City Pages. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 

External links[edit]