If you’ve ever stared out of the window on a rainy Sunday night and felt everything slow down, momentarily alone with the street lights and that rich, neon melancholy that feels so distant from the world of traffic updates and tax returns, wondering where the twilight world hides when the sun comes up again, you may have briefly shared the spirit of Beach House’s seventh album.
Its opening numbers are gorgeous in their own right, perhaps more shoegaze than dream-pop this time out, with ‘Lemon Glow’ still sounding like it’s going to make an incredible hip-hop sample one day. But it’s the spread of tracks that run from the morphine swell of ‘L’Innconue’ to the heartbroken fantasy of ‘Last Ride’ that overwhelm here, their cumulative grandeur almost more than the heart can bear in one sitting.
Some artists hold the promise of a perfect album within them, one stroke of divinity that distils a lifetime’s output into something that could define their legacy. Beach House never felt like one of those bands to me, partly because they’d already soared so high, already peaked on a former glory. Nonetheless, the Baltimore duo have somehow gifted us their masterpiece, and though the rain outside has now stopped, new heavens have opened.
Words: Matthew Neale
Dig it? Dig deeper: Cocteau Twins, Lower Dens, Slowdive
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