Thursday, October 22, 2015

Beach House - Depression Cherry

So one of my favorite albums of this year has been Depression Cherry by Beach House. (This is mostly due to a reader of this blog who made me revisit their catalog -- thanks!). A duo from Baltimore, they produce dreamy shoegaze-y music, a bit like My Bloody Valentine but without all the drama and crazy experiments. Their sound isn't original and would probably fit in quite well in, say, in 1992 as a band on Creation Records, but what sets them apart is that they have an incredible talent for writing beautiful tunes, the kind you think you've heard before because they sound so obvious but you really haven't. Like MBV, their sound is also defined by a male/female vocal dynamic and songs can often blur into another, but I really admire their aesthetic of just crawling inwards into the music instead of outwards (if that makes any sense). Their music is minimalist, without too many frills, and songs often fade out instead of coming to a discrete ending. Imagine driving, and you drive by someone playing music, the music comes into focus, it's a small slice of bliss, then as you drive way, the Doppler shift takes it away, and the song fades into nothingness.

They've been mining the dreamy pop vein of music for about ten years now. Depression Cherry, which came out at the end of August, was their fifth album. Remarkably, less than two months later, they have released a completely brand new album, Thank Your Lucky Stars, which must be a world record for the shortest time between two new albums.

For a band that's kind of under the radar, I was surprised to see that Depression Cherry reached number 8 (number 8!) on the national Billboard charts! Amazing. And the remarkable thing is that any of their recent albums are just as good as Depression Cherry. Go search out Bloom (2012) or Teen Dream (2010), for example.

Here are a couple of awesome songs, the first one from Depression Cherry:

The second one is "Better Times" from their album Teen Dream:


:) said...

since you love shoegaze so much :)

spaceman said...

Wow, thanks. That is a cool poster, whoever made that. It's funny, I never self-consciously thought of myself as liking shoegaze. I don't ever remember using that term. BUT, having said that, for sure I liked so many of those late 80s / early 90s bands (My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Curve, Medicine, early Verve, Flying Saucer Attack, Slowdive, Lush, early Spiritualized). I also liked a lot of the electronic stuff (like Seefeel).

But there were also bands I didn't like for some reason and I'm not sure why (like Brian Jonestown Massacre).

But I definitely like that kind of musical approach -- extremely loud, extremely distorted, but extremely pretty melodies. You could trace that style back really to the Jesus and Mary Chain. I think their "Darklands" album more than their debut was incredibly influential on my tastes. That album still holds up really well. Fantastic stuff.

Weirdly the poster doesn't list Beach House....

Meep said...

I try but the stuff with the heavy distortion just doesnt work with me :(

What do you make of Sufjan Stevens? Its folk but not quite?

have you seen this "Anatomy of Songs "? :)

spaceman said...

I can understand that. It's a bit of a hard sell. I like Sufjan Stevens. I haven't heard is new stuff but I like his folky stuff.

"Anatomy of Songs": That's pretty funny! Will have to post on that.

Listening to the new Deerhunter album -- it's gorgeous. Very pop, very cool. Will post on it. Check out the first track:

Meep said...

Haven't been able to listen to it yet. I'll give it a listen when I get a chance.