SINCE THEIR ORIGINS in Baltimore in 2004, Beach House have seen the advent of the digital music era, and in traveling the changing musical landscape, the duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have developed a vision for how their work is made and how they wish for it to be experienced: the long-format album.
A record "is like a film," Legrand says over the phone. "You listen to it from beginning to end, and from the first note that you hear to the last note that you hear, it has all been carefully placed."
The band's intention and effort comes across with stunning effect, and their four albums have immediately and irreversibly enamored listeners. Beach House's gravitating, atmospheric music employs distinct elements: ticking synthetic drums, Scally's bittersweet guitar tones, the hypnotic organ melodies and vocals of Legrand, who sings in an otherworldly timbre. In the wake of the spring release of Bloom, their second LP for Sub Pop, it's clear that a defining attribute of their remarkably gorgeous work is their deliberate loyalty to creative design and process.
"When we say this record is intended to be listened to as an album, it's in case people don't know what we've done in the past, or how long we've been in the band, or the kind of artists we are, or how long it takes to do this stuff—how much of ourselves we put into it," says Legrand. "It's for the people who don't know and who should know, because I think this is a classic format that should not be lost."
The beautiful collection of songs that make up Bloom take on cosmic dimensions, delving into existential areas that arc from the specific to the universal, and all the places in between where living things connect, ignite, and are altered. The transformative possibilities of the album are owed to Legrand and Scally's vision and effort.
"It's both simple and complex, I guess, because that's what making albums are," Legrand says. "It takes a lot of time, it's a lot of intensity, a lot of work, a lot of passion."