first impressions: beach house – teen dream

* this first impression was brought to you by the ever-reliable NPR who are currently streaming the album in its entirety as they’re often prone to do.

am i the only one reminded of merriweather post pavilion by the album cover? considering that this is coming out roughly a year after that album to similar buzz and fanfare, i don’t think that’s a coincidence. cover aside though, i’m actually reminded more of grizzly bear (no wonder ed droste is a fan). like their recent output, this album doesn’t find beach house reinvented so much as fully blossomed. everything everyone loves about them is still there, just deepened, matured, perfected. i’m usually not big for on-the-nose album titles, but in this case i’ll gladly make an exception. this teen dream is every bit as sweet an swoon-worthy as its title makes it sound. it’s also far more resonant and intangibly devastating than many such dreams can be.

couple more notes upon first listen (the first of many):

  • though an exquisite teaser for what was to come, the haunting and propulsive “norway” isn’t even one of the best tracks here. you can’t even appreciate its own full grandeur until you hear it in sequence with the rest.
  • speaking of sequencing, flawless. the whole flow of the album has a warm, enveloping quality.
  • “used to be” is still here. still awesome. “zebra” is amazing in studio form as well.
  • “lover of mine” is almost, kind of danceable. makes me wonder why more people haven’t tried to exploit that in remixes. probably better if they didn’t.
  • is it too early to call “10 mile stereo” my favorite song of the year? “the heart is a stone/it’s a stone that we throw” = best opening lyric EVER. and don’t get me started on the way the whole song takes off and soars away without ever coming down at the chorus. chills.
  • i used to draw comparisons from victoria legrand to nico. i’m also actually starting to hear a lot of her styling in the vocals of elin from jj. anyone else?

i dare not spoil anymore. in a word: essential.

have a listen to the whole thing at the link above, and buy the album in any form necessary when it’s out on jan. 26. it apparently comes with a DVD of videos shot for each song, many of which have been previewed this week already at gvb.

beach house are also going out on tour in the spring. anyone else going?


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