Personnel: Victoria Legrand (vocals, organ, keyboards); Alex Scally (guitar, organ, drums).
Audio Mixer: Adam Cook.
Recording information: Lord Baltimore Recording (08/2007-09/2007).
Photographer: Natasha Tyler.
Beach House is the musical duo of instrumentalist Alex Scally and vocalist/keyboardist Victoria Legrand. And as their namesake suggests, their music resonates with the kind of languid radiance of a spiritual retreat from the modern world. Building their signature sound from a few spare elements, lo-fi organs, harpsichords, and vintage drum machines, the pair crafts an exquisitely detailed atmosphere from minimal instrumentation. Legrand's hypnotic croon sits pleasingly against Scally's twanging pedal steel lines, suggesting a country-tinged Nico. On "Turtle Island," the dirge-like drone of a harmonium offers a hauntingly baroque accompaniment to Legrand's tale of heartbreak. But somber and downcast is not the only mood on offer: "Some Things Last (A Long Time)" is their version of a Daniel Johnston chestnut, while "D.A.R.L.I.N.G." offers their otherworldly take on `60s girl-group pop.
Rolling Stone (p.59) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "This is music as secret hideaway, all come-hither vocals, fuzzy organ riffs, liquid slide guitar and muffled drum beats riding swells of reverb onto soft white sands."
Spin (p.97) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "On DEVOTION, slow-motion organ washes over precisely twanged guitar while Legrand slides sensuously accented phonemes through the hazy mix."
Entertainment Weekly (p.59) - "The lo-fi arrangements on their second full-length -- a faint organ riff here, a distant chime there, a mournful chant floating above it all -- smartly tease the border between 'pretty' and 'eerie'..." -- Grade: B
Uncut (p.83) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "If you like Galaxie 500, Mazzy Star, Low -- that's to say, starcrossed boy-girl balladry refracted through a narcotic haze and reverb -- you'll adore them."
CMJ - "Beach House offers enough warmly reverberating organs, feline, female vocals and drowsy melodies to provide an ample score to any chill-out tent."
Q (Magazine) (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Everything is dreamily understated: Legrand quietly intones as her organ conjures up a ghostly calm..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] shape-shifting backgrounds -- classic '60s pop arrangements filtered through the fuzzy prism of a dream."
Clash (magazine) (p.110) - "Beach House excel, effortlessly drawing you into their world. Legrand creates a multi-tracked choir around the clarity of her lead vocal while Scally skillfully populates the songs with supporting instruments."
The Word (magazine) (p.100) - "This duo have been placed in a US lineage that's at once intimate and of fathomless, reverberant depth -- Low, Mazzy Star, Galaxie 500. Backed by Alex Scally's guitar, Paris-born singer Victoria Legrand can live up to this..."
URB (Magazine) (p.108) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's as rewarding as it is tantalizing....They've managed to wholeheartedly blossom their sound while remaining right where they left off."