Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2015-10-16

The Baltimore dream pop duo release their sixth album less than two months after its predecessor, although they’re reportedly claiming it’s not a companion album or a bunch of left over B-sides. We’ll probably never know if these tracks were recorded at the same time as August’s Depression Cherry and they (or their labels) decided against releasing a double album. Could be they just hit a prolific patch and wanted to strike while the iron was hot. Besides, we did have to wait over three years for Depression Cherry, so this 2-fer deal is pretty sweet for fans. And not unprecedented: both Fairport Convention and Creedence Clearwater Revival released three albums in 1969! So maybe there’s yet another in the wings in the next two months!

     But let’s get down to brass tacks and hear what’s on tap. I’ve not heard Depression Cherry, so can’t comment on whether these songs are significantly different (as with MONO’s simultaneous releases last year on Temporary Residence). But having followed the pair off and on for the past decade, I pretty much know what to expect – Victoria Legrand’s ethereal vocals (the nearly a capella ‘All Your Yeahs’ is particularly stunning), Alex Scally’s chiming guitars and soothing harmonies, dreamy melodies (Legrand may have learned a thing or two about crafting memorable, heartbreaking tunes from her award-winning film composer Uncle Michel) – and Thank Your Lucky Stars does not disappoint.

     ‘Majorette’ starts the set like a feather floating on rays of sunshine, ‘Common Girl’ evinces a gothic, baroque air with a Siouxsie-like vocal and harpsichord-styled keyboard backing, and ‘The Traveller’ wisps heavenly like Kate Bush cooing yet another Brontë dreamscape.       

     ‘Elegy To The Void’ overcomes its rather pretentious title with a powerfully soaring arrangement and floating vocal, sliced by Scally’s scraping guitar solo and ‘Rough Song’ may be a reference to its perceived unfinished state, but it sounds just fine to me: playful keyboards tinkling around Legrand’s assured vocals with a spacey, thousand-yard-stare atmosphere hovering over the dreamy arrangement. And ‘Somewhere Tonight’ is the perfect lullabye nightcap, with angelic vocals, plucking keyboards and dreamy synths furnishing a warm, ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ nighty night tuck-in. Aaaahhhhh!

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